Construction of a redundant foundation on the main piers of the Flagler Memorial Bridge is ahead of schedule and expected to be completed in October, Florida Department of Transportation officials said.
Archer Western, a Tampa-based contractor, was awarded a $9.4 million emergency contract on April 24 to repair the 86-year-old bridge. The company was given 210 days, beginning June 5, to complete the repairs. FDOT will award an incentive of $15,000 a day, up to 45 days, for early completion. Archer Western is on track to earn the full bonus of $675,000.
As of September 3, Archer Western has installed 49 of the 67 micropiles in the redundant foundation. Engineers monitoring the bridge measured settlement of 3/16-inch on the southwest pier in mid-August, but did not observe any signs of new stresses in the abutment. Installation of the micropiles has continued since then, with no additional structural problems. Installation of the brackets that will connect the micropiles to the piers is scheduled to get underway this week.
Traffic over the bridge is currently limited due to its condition. One lane is open in each direction for passenger cars only; vehicles weighing more than five tons (larger than an average pickup truck) are not allowed over the bridge. When the repairs are completed, the bridge will have two lanes in each direction and there will be no weight restrictions on trucks.
Early completion of the repairs will expedite construction of the Flagler Memorial replacement bridge. Completion of the $94.2 million replacement bridge is anticipated in Fall 2016.