- The $7.6 million Halls River Road (CR 490A) bridge replacement in Homosassa, Florida, is nearing completion and is on track for a fall finish, according to the Florida DOT. The bridge uses fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) technologies instead of traditional concrete and steel construction in order to better combat rust and deterioration.
- All parts of the bridge incorporate some type of FRP material. The concrete piles that support the bridge are prestressed with carbon fiber composite cables (CFCC); at 36-feet long, the first hybrid composite beams (HCB) used on a bridge in Florida will support the bridge deck; and glass-fiber-reinforced polymer (GFRP) will be used in the guard rails, pier caps, bridge deck, and as reinforcement in retaining walls, which are made of CFCC-prestressed sheet piles.
- The FDOT said that using FRP-based materials in the construction of new bridges results in a cost increase of about 30% but that the larger price tag will pay off in decreased maintenance and a longer useful life beyond the 75 years the agency requires for new bridges.
The FDOT said that deterioration from elements such as high humidity and saltwater takes a huge toll on the condition of the state's bridges and that upkeep resulting from this corrosion accounts for about 75% of the agency's maintenance costs.
The new bridge, which will have two lanes for traffic, shoulders and five-foot sidewalks on each side, also uses Seacreate for bulkhead caps instead of conventional concrete. Seacreate is made with seawater instead of freshwater and exhibits higher early-age strength.
In addition, the project uses recycled asphalt pavement to replace part of the aggregate in the concrete mix, as well as a recycled concrete aggregate.
When construction started in early 2017, the FDOT said that it would be complete with the bridge replacement in May 2018, but that was before rain, hard limestone and other construction issues delayed progress and drove costs up about $1.5 million from the original budget of $6.1 million.
The original contractor, Astaldi Construction Corp., also defaulted on the project earlier this year, handing the Halls River bridge and three other FDOT projects over to its bonding companies. St. Augustine, Florida-based Watson Civil Construction stepped in to take over Halls River and one other project — the $50 million widening of US 301 in Hillsborough County.
The FDOT selected Colorado contractor SEMA Construction Inc. to assume construction duties for Section 7A of the $1.6 billion Wekiva Parkway widening project in Seminole County, Florida.