The two bridges, spanning 2.3 miles, advance efforts by the National Parks Service and Florida Department of Transportation to restore natural water flows into Everglades National Park
A design-build team of Stantec and Condotte America announced the completion of the two bridges in the Tamiami Trail (Florida State Road 90) elevation project. The bridges, totaling 2.3 miles, with a construction cost of $72 million, replace the existing roadway bed located within western Miami-Dade County to restore natural water flow into Everglades National Park and increase ecological connectivity between the park and water conservation areas.
The project is part of a multi-phase effort by the National Parks Service and Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to meet the goals of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) to restore, preserve and protect the South Florida ecosystem while providing for other water-related needs of the region. The bridges restore the historic hydraulic flow from north of the Tamiami Trail to the Shark River Slough south of the highway.
“The completion of this project significantly improves the freshwater flows into Everglades National Park and Florida Bay,” said Charles Borders, branch chief for the National Park Service. “The partnership with FDOT has enabled us to restore freshwater flow while improving the critical S. Florida infrastructure of Tamiami Trail.”
Stantec served as lead designer on the project, including roadway, structures, drainage, utility coordination, signing and pavement markings, design surveys, and environmental support. As construction lead, Condotte managed design-build services, including foundations, substructure and bridge deck, along with earthwork projects, including canal excavation, and roadway-related activities.
To minimize the environmental impact during construction, the Stantec and Condotte team took precautions that limited the work-zone footprint on the protected land. This included the use of Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) techniques that improved the project delivery time, material quality, product durability and work zone safety.
“Ensuring the stability and protection of an ecosystem as sensitive as the Everglades was a top priority for our team at the outset,” said Juan Restrepo, PE, principal at Stantec. “We worked diligently with our partners at Condotte to develop solutions that expedited the construction process, limited the impact to the wetlands and protected local plant and animal species. We’re proud to be a part of the Everglades restoration efforts and to help preserve the park for generations to come.”
In addition to improved water flow, the bridges also incorporate a drainage system that facilitates the complete treatment of stormwater runoff, further minimizing the environmental impact. The drain includes a series of cleanout ports that simplify long-term maintenance of the drainage system and eliminates the use of heavy equipment during cleaning operations. The completion of this project follows the opening of another bridge section in October 2018 and advances the Tamiami Trail Modifications: Next Steps initiative for restoring waterflow throughout the ecosystem.
“We are pleased once again to have successfully completed another design-build project with our partner Stantec. Stantec’s expertise and top-level project staffing enabled Condotte to deliver this environmentally critical project significantly under the FDOT’s budget and estimated timeframe,” said Andres Mendoza, president of Condotte America. “Most importantly, the Condotte Stantec team attributes the resolve and partnership of FDOT and the National Park Service as the key element in successfully completing the project.”
Stantec’s Transportation practice creates the connections that get people and goods moving safely and efficiently — whether by car, bus, train, plane, or their own two feet. Stantec has a long history of helping FDOT deliver on its vision for improved transportation mobility across the state. Among recent projects, Stantec teams worked on the award-winning $71.8 million I-75 bridge widening over the Caloosahtchee River, which incorporated the same ABC techniques used in the Tamiami Trail bridging project. Ranked among the top-10 International Design Firms in Transportation by Engineering News-Record, Stantec provides planning, engineering, and infrastructure management services that fit client needs and improve the overall transportation experience.