The Infrastructure Corporation of America Structures Asset Management (SAM) team's incident response capabilities were put to the test once more when an excavator being towed by a truck on a flatbed trailer travelling east on Daniels Parkway in Lee County, Florida struck two parallel I-75 bridges that crossed overhead in the late afternoon hours of Nov. 6th. The damaged bridges fall under the jurisdiction of ICA's SAM contract for the Florida Department ofTransportation (FDOT) in District 1 South.
Upon notification of the incident, ICA deployed bridge team members to set up MOT measures around the structure and on all 6 lanes of I-75 so that damage inspections could start. First inspections by the Florida Highway Patrol warranted that passage over and under the bridges be temporarily closed. As the ICA Team completed initial assessments, limited traffic was again allowed on the bridges a few hours after being closed and repair plan designs by Volkert began the same night.
The team assessed that 3 concrete beams would need to be replaced in their entirety, one on the northbound bridge and two on the southbound bridge, where the initial point of impact occurred. To replace these beams, the portions of the concrete bridge deck above them and concrete barrier walls would need to be demolished and removed so that the beams themselves could be demolished and removed. The estimated cost of the repairs was $1 million.
An excellent construction team was assembled with Tallahassee-based C.W. Roberts Contracting as lead construction contractor, and Ft. Myers bridge construction contractor Zep Construction selected to perform the specialized bridge work required. The new concrete beams are "pre-cast" and "pre-stressed". They were fabricated off-site (in Tampa) and, once cured (about 3 days), were transported 125 miles to reach the site.
The beams were lifted into place using two cranes simultaneously. For safety reasons, during the lifting, all traffic under the bridges on Eastbound Daniels Parkway was closed and detoured away from the area. Once the new beams were in place, the corresponding areas of bridge deck were formed and poured (concrete).
Once the deck was cured, the barrier walls were formed and poured. By November 20th, the walls were also cured, and ICA was able to remove all temporary MOT and restore normal traffic on I-75 in both directions and on Daniels Parkway under the bridges, just 14 days after the incident occurred and two days ahead of the Thanksgiving Day goal that was set.
Once the bridges and related roadways were open to traffic, the team could focus on residual repairs. Four other beams were damaged in the accident but could be saved. These had to be repaired in-place by sealing cracks with epoxy and patching the damaged areas using concrete mortar. Once all of the new components on both bridges were installed, the visible portions of the new beams, barrier walls, and decks got a coat of paint to match the existing bridge components. The last and final steps were to repair the pavement on I-75 and Daniels Parkway damaged by the accident and construction activities, and to restore any roadway striping that was affected.
ICA's efforts were recognized even at the highest levels with the Secretary of the Florida Department of Transportation, Ananth Prasad, PE, sending kudos to ICA's project teams for their determination and close coordination in getting the project finished so quickly.