This project involves Phase 3C of the Department’s overall Phase 3 implementation of Express Lanes along the I-95 corridor within Broward and Palm Beach Counties, Florida. I-95 Express is a Limited Access Express Lane facility that runs adjacent to the I-95 general purpose lanes. The construction limits extend from south of Hollywood Boulevard at I-95 to south of Broward Boulevard at I-95 in Broward County, FL for a total distance of approximately 9 miles along I-95.
The Project includes the conversion of the existing I-95 Lanes, widening, milling, resurfacing, overbuild, and/or reconstruction resulting in two tolled Express Lanes in each direction. The project also provides Direct Connectors between northbound and southbound 95 Express Lanes and I-595, to and from the west and the addition of lanes on I-595, aiming to improve the weaving conditions that exist on the segment of I-595 between Florida’s turnpike and I-95.
Project structures included 35 brides ranging from AASHTO Beam widenings to, curved Category 2 Steel Box Girder flyovers, to complex steel box girder bridge retrofits. Part of the scope also included the painting of 17 existing 2nd and 3rd level major steel bridges within the I-95/SR 84 and I-95/I-595 Interchanges. Safely constructing major bridge structures throughout this constrained, heavily traveled, critical corridor required coordination of structural engineering and specialized construction techniques at the highest level of the industry. Key Structural highlights include:
- Dramatic Flyovers. Direct Express Lane connections including four major Category 2 steel box girder flyover structures. Bridge lengths ranged from 514 feet to over 2,200 feet. Span lengths exceeded 270 feet. Supports ranged from decorative hammerhead piers to a 118-foot long integral steel straddle bent spanning over top I-95.
- Innovation With Bridge Widening. Widening of 11 bridges carrying I-95 over canals and surface streets included single non-redundant drilled shafts used to minimize disruption and avoid utilities, and innovative Carbon Fiber beam strengthening to improve Load Ratings.
- Major Moves. Providing the required I-95 section underneath SR 84 required replacing the existing single span steel box girder bridge over I-95 with a new, longer single-span steel plate girder structure. To avoid months of carefully phased bridge work over top of I-95, the existing bridge was lifted and moved ¼ mile south of the interchange using a single night closure of I-95 and a bridge move that lasted less than one hour. Then, the new bridge was constructed off-site, rolled to the bridge location, and lifted into place.
- One of a Kind Pier/Straddle Bent Retrofit. Providing the required I-595 section underneath the existing 3,750-foot long ramp structure over I-95 and I-595 required converting an existing hammerhead pier into an integral, post-tensioned concrete straddle bent. Work phasing used to keep this critical bridge in service throughout construction included holes cut into the bridge deck to enable concrete pours. Innovative auger cast piles were used for the straddle bent foundations due to limited headroom. Extensive structural steel retrofits were also performed to strengthen the existing box girders.
- Complex “C” Pier Retrofits. Providing the required I-95 section underneath SR 84 required replacing existing single-column piers supporting the steel box girder bridge carrying Eastbound SR 84 over I-95. Demolition work was orchestrated to maintain the stability of the existing structure. Bridge jacking was used to release the existing bearings and construct the new “C” Piers. The new piers utilized Post-Tensioned concrete to accommodate the heavy loads and eccentricities. Drilled shaft foundations were used to avoid vibration effects on existing Mechanically Stabilized Earth retaining walls located within 6 feet of the new piers.
- Top Down Construction. A major component of the project included the widening of the 4,800-foot long viaduct carrying I-595 from I-95 to US 441. The viaduct traverses a rock pit, FP&L Cooling Canal, the South Fork New River Canal, sensitive wetlands, restricted Right-of-Way, and drainage areas. These factors combined to significantly restrict construction access from below. In response, to facilitate construction and minimize impacts, Top Down Construction techniques were used. Techniques included a work trestle and an innovative wheeled gantry system spanning the gap between the Eastbound and Westbound bridge structures.