- The Florida DOT has short-listed three design-build firms, one of which will win the $814 million contract to design and build a new span next to the existing Interstate 275 Howard Frankland Bridge that connects Tampa and St. Petersburg over Old Tampa Bay.
- The FDOT’s shortlist includes the joint ventures of Archer Western Construction and Traylor Bros.; Granite Construction Co. and Boh Bros. Construction; and Kiewit Infrastructure South and Massman Construction Co.
- Each team must now submit a technical proposal for the project by Aug. 12, followed by a price proposal due on Oct. 8. The FDOT will select a winner on Oct. 14, with construction set to begin by early 2020. The completion date is scheduled for late 2024.
The FDOT has already awarded Atkins, an SNC-Lavalin company, a $36 million consultant’s contract for engineering and inspection services on the Howard Frankland project, according to The Tampa Bay Business Journal.
The new span will include four general southbound lanes, two express toll lanes in each direction and a protected pedestrian/bicycle path. The existing southbound span will be converted to accommodate northbound traffic. The span now being used for northbound traffic will be demolished when the new bridge is complete. The current southbound bridge will also be widened to fit a future potential rail line.
The FDOT’s proposed 2019-2020 budget is almost $11 billion, about the same as what former Republican Gov. Rick Scott, now a U.S. Senator, proposed for the agency for 2018-2019, creating opportunities for construction companies to secure some very lucrative contracts. However, there’s no guarantee that these projects will always run smoothly.
One of the biggest projects the FDOT has going on right now is the $2.3 billion I-4 Ultimate, an Interstate 4 improvement project through Orlando. The public-private partnership in charge is I-4 Mobility Partners, a joint venture between Skanska USA and John Laing. SGL Constructors, made up of Skanska, Granite Construction and Lane Construction Corp., is handling construction.
Right now I-4 Mobility Partners has a project claim for $100 million and an extra 245 days that has yet to be resolved. The conditions leading to the overruns and delays were reportedly due to drilled shaft failures and the state’s refusal to allow an alternative foundation method.
There have also been four worker deaths on that project and at least three injuries so far. There were two fatalities in 2016, one in 2018 and another earlier this year, all results of struck-by accidents. Three workers injured last month fell approximately 15 feet from an elevated platform while pouring concrete.
Skanska USA is also building the $398 million Pensacola Bay Bridge in Pensacola, Florida, and the company is expected to deliver that project on time and with no major issues, although it recently missed an early completion deadline that would have given the company a $15 million bonus.