Orlando-based DRMP, Inc., a multidiscipline engineering firm, has garnered national attention for a Design-Build project that also made history with the unprecedented installation of the longest single-piece concrete beams ever fabricated and installed, not just in Florida but in the United States. On top of making history, the project was designed and constructed with a $2 million savings to FDOT and taxpayers while also being delivered 30 days before schedule.
A true engineering feat, each main concrete beam used for the US 17-92 and SR 436 Interchange project was 209 feet long. The construction of the bridge required the delivery of not one but 13 beams, each weighing in at 267,000 pounds, or slightly more than 45 full-grown elephants. Maintaining traffic operations during construction required each beam to be delivered and set in place with cranes during the night for an entire week, while each delivery was escorted by several Florida Highway Patrol cars. The cranes had to avoid a main transmission overhead electrical line to set the beams in place, which if affected would have caused three different suburb cities and several large businesses to lose power.
Those are just some of the reasons why the US 17-92 at SR 436 Interchange Design-Build project was selected as a Finalist in the I Build America’s 2016 Construction Impact Awards. The $22 million project, owned by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) District Five, was one of two Florida projects selected as a finalist out of the 25 semi-finalist construction projects submitted from around the country. The projects were judged by a panel who were tasked with choosing projects based on “what impact it had on America.”
To answer the question, DRMP, Inc. and The Lane Construction Corporation described how their firms worked together with a design-build project delivery method to implement a groundbreaking bridge technology to design and construct a 457-foot flyover bridge at US 17-92 over SR 436 using a 96-inch deep Florida I-Beam (FIB).
Judging began with an online popular vote, where more than 125,000 votes were received. The top 16 national projects were named as semi-finalists and were sent to a panel of judges that included executives in the construction industry.
“Our construction customers do amazing and challenging work – often under tough conditions that most of us don’t want to do – so that we can have water and power in our homes, a house to live in, highways that allow us to travel,” said Mike Rydin, who started I Build America. “These are things we all can take for granted but wouldn’t exist without the construction industry. It’s like the story of the bricklayer. When asked what he’s doing, one may answer, ‘I’m making a living;’ one may answer, ‘I’m laying brick;’ and one may answer, ‘I’m building a home.’ We want the industry to realize they are doing much more than pouring concrete, laying brick, or operating a crane, but creating tremendous value in American life.”
The intersection improvements have made a large impact on the 100,000 daily commuters that travel the corridor, with the flyover bridge drastically decreasing an average of five to 10 minutes in commute time. DRMP was the lead design consultant along with the Lane Construction Corporation as the lead contractor.
As a Finalist, DRMP, Inc. and The Lane Construction Corporation were awarded a prize package valued at $50,000. The Construction Impact Awards are part of the I Build America movement, which is dedicated to showcasing the importance of construction to modern life, creating pride in the industry, and enabling the general public to recognize that value.