Duck Key Bridge Updates

8/18/2022 Update: Bimini Bridge Intermittent Closures Aug. 24 - Aug. 30

American Empire Builders (AEB) has notified the County that they intend to transport the arch beams for Bimini Drive Bridge to the project site on Wednesday, Aug. 24. The exact time of the deliveries is unknown because they are contingent upon the transport company and traffic. There are a total of four beams that will be delivered one each day from Aug. 24 through Tuesday, Aug. 30, excluding Saturday and Sunday. There is an extra day for contingency if the transporter cannot deliver on one of the days.

During the days when beams are delivered, there will be intermittent closures while the beam is staged on the bridge adjacent to the construction, lifted off of the trailer with two cranes, and placed on the newly constructed end bents on the south side of the bridge. The closures will last approximately 30 minutes.

Emergency services and utilities will be notified of the intermittent closures.

8/10/2022 Update: AT&T installed two 4-inch conduits within the east approach and up to the end bent at Bimini Bridge in mid-July for placement of both ATT and Comcast utilities. American Empire Builders (AEB) formed and poured the concrete approach slab upon completion of conduit installation. The contractor is pouring the coping and concrete barrier wall/traffic railing on the east approach this week. In addition, the contractor is setting the concrete panels in front of the end bent on the west side of the bridge and will begin trenching to construct the footer for the MSE wall on the west side shortly.

AEB is working on scheduling delivery of the four arch beams for the south side of the bridge and anticipates having them delivered to the site within the next two to three weeks, subject to the trucking subcontractor’s scheduling and permitting. Once onsite, the contractor will have to block traffic in both directions to lift the oversized beams with two cranes to set them in place. Once a firm date is established, residents will be notified of the date and time of closure through website notification and signage. In addition, local utilities, services, and emergency agencies will be notified of this activity that requires a temporary bridge closure. Additional information and updates will be provided as details are confirmed.

FKAA’s contractor completed the tie-in of the 6-inch reclaimed water line and the 8-inch waterline at Seaview Drive Bridge last week and is currently beginning site restoration. They anticipate performing the tie-in of the sewer force main and water line at Harbour Drive Bridge next week and will begin the site restoration there upon completion of those tie-ins.  

Monroe County is processing a change order to address the additional work consisting of procuring and installing two pile splices as well as the redesign and construction of the footer and column that replaced pile #6 on the west side of the bridge. The delay due to the pile not reaching bearing capacity and construction of the footer and column added 134 days to the contract duration; the revised scheduled completion date for the project is September 2023.

Monroe County has advertised a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for construction engineering and inspection (CEI) services for the Seaview Drive Bridge replacement and will receive responses to the RFQ on Sept. 16. The plans and specifications for construction bids are being advertised shortly and construction bids will be due on Oct. 5.  

7/13/2022 Update: American Empire Builders (AEB) is continuing with the installation of the barrier wall support slab construction and stubbing out of the reinforcing steel for barrier wall construction on top of the MSE wall on the east side of Bimini Bridge.  The contractor notified AT&T and Comcast that he is ready for their contractor to install the two 4-inch conduits along the approach for eventual installation through the new beams. AT&T’s contractor has indicated he will be onsite to perform the trenching and conduit installation on Friday, July 15, 2022. AEB will begin forming the steel for the approach slab on the east side this week so that the slab can be poured once AT&T contractor has installed the conduits. AEB anticipates proceeding with constructing the barrier wall and railing on the east side over the next two weeks.

The contractor formed and poured the column that will replace the outer pile on the west end of the bridge this week and will begin forming the steel for the end bent in addition to grading and preparing to construct the leveling pad on the west end.

FKAA’s contractor is preparing the manhole structures for tie-in at both Seaview and Harbour Drive Bridges. FKAA plans to tie in the sewer and reclaimed water lines at Seaview Drive Bridge this week and perform the same work at Harbour Drive Bridge the week of July 18th.  They are awaiting approval from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) before performing the tie-in of the potable water lines at both bridges; FKAA anticipates receiving clearance from FDEP the week of July 25th and will commence tie-in as soon as clearance is received. FKAA will send out public notifications for the scheduled shutdown of the potable water system once the tie-in schedule is confirmed. There will not be a disruption of the wastewater or reclaimed water systems during tie-in.  

Monroe County has advertised a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for construction engineering and inspection (CEI) services for the Seaview Drive Bridge Replacement and anticipates advertising for construction bids shortly so that the Seaview Drive Bridge Replacement project may begin in Fall 2022.   

7/5/2022 Update: American Empire Builders (AEB) installed the barrier wall support slab and partial cap and stubbed the steel for the barrier wall construction on top of the MSE wall on the east side of Bimini Bridge. The contractor is coordinating with AT&T and Comcast to schedule their trenching along the road’s centerline up to the end bent for underground installation of two 4-inch conduits along the approach for eventual installation through the new beams. Once the conduit installation is complete, the contractor will form and pour the approach slab by the end bent cap on the east end.

The contractor formed the spread footer and column that will replace the outer pile on the west end of the bridge. They are currently installing the steel for the footer and column and anticipate pouring the concrete on Wednesday, July 6. Upon completion of the concrete pour for the footer and column, the contractor will form and pour the end bent on the west end and place the backfill for the MSE wall on the west end.

FKAA’s contractor continues to install utility hole structures at Seaview Drive and Harbour Drive bridges. FKAA anticipates that the tie-in of the new utility lines will occur the week of July 11, if not sooner. FKAA will send out public notifications for the scheduled shutdown of the potable water system once the tie-in schedule is confirmed. During the tie-in, there will not be a disruption of the wastewater or reclaimed water systems.  

Monroe County has advertised a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for construction engineering and inspection (CEI) services for the Seaview Drive Bridge Replacement. We anticipate advertising for construction bids shortly, so the Seaview Drive Bridge Replacement project may begin in fall 2022.  

6/16/2022 Update: American Empire Builders (AEB) is continuing to construct the MSE wall and placing the backfill on the east end of Bimini Bridge. A meeting was held with AT&T and Comcast to coordinate the placement of their conduits within the fill behind the MSE wall. It was agreed onsite that once the fill is at the required elevation, AT&T and Comcast will trench along the outer edge by the MSE wall to install two 4-inch conduits along the approach for eventual installation through the new beams.   

The pile splice at the west end did not achieve capacity; the engineer of record has proposed an alternative consisting of a spread footer and column to support the end bent in lieu of the pile. Draft plans and material quantities have been provided to the contractor so that he can order material and begin excavating and forming the footer. Final signed and sealed plans are pending. Impacts to the construction schedule due to the re-design are being evaluated.

FKAA’s contractor completed pressure testing lines and installation of structures at Seaview Drive Bridge; work is complete pending final tie-in and site restoration. The contractor has completed the borings and pipe and structure installation at Harbour Drive Bridge and is in the process of pressure testing the lines. They anticipate performing the tie-ins at Harbour Drive Bridge in the next two weeks and then will remobilize at Seaview Drive Bridge to perform the tie-ins there.

Monroe County staff will be onsite next week to install temporary speed bumps on the approaches to the Seaview and Harbour Drive bridges in an effort to prevent speeding over the two bridges. Decreasing the speed at which vehicles, particularly trucks, cross the bridges will reduce wear on the bridge decks and will add to the overall safety of the area.

5/20/2022 Update: American Empire Builders (AEB) poured the concrete end bent on the east side of Bimini Bridge on May 16. They have continued work on the east side and have constructed the forms for the concrete cap along the top of the MSE wall. The concrete plant notified the contractor that there is a shortage of fly ash for concrete and is awaiting confirmation of a date for concrete delivery for the cap.

The contractor received the steel dowels to perform the pile splice on the west end of the bridge and is awaiting confirmation from the casting yard on the fabrication and delivery of the two 25 ft. sections for the splice. Delivery is anticipated to be during the week after Memorial Day; however, this is tentative due to industry material shortages.  

AEB is coordinating with AT&T and Comcast to place their conduits within the fill behind the MSE wall on the east end. The conduits need to be placed at the proper elevation to facilitate their eventual installation within the concrete beams on the south side of the bridge.

FKAA will be completing the final site restoration tasks at Bimini Bridge within the next 30 days.

FKAA’s contractor completed the borings and has pulled the pipe for all three lines at Seaview Drive Bridge. All three pipes passed their pressure testing, and FKAA has applied to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for clearance on the waterline. They anticipate that they will receive clearance in approximately three weeks, at which time they will schedule the tie-in.

FKAA’s contractor completed the boring and is pulling the waterline at Harbour Drive Bridge. The contractor moved the boring equipment to Harbour Drive to perform the sewer and reclaimed water line borings from that side; they anticipate completing the borings and pulling the pipes in the next week or week and a half.

5/6/2022 Update: American Empire Builders (AEB) constructed and installed the rebar cage for the end bent on the east side of the Bimini Bridge. The contractor performed the pile splice for the remaining pile on the west side of the bridge and drove the pile on May 4. The pile did not achieve the specified capacity; therefore, an additional splice must be performed. The contractor will advise on the impact to schedule once information is received from suppliers.

FKAA’s contractor will be performing some site restoration at Bimini Drive Bridge before demobilizing from the site.

FKAA’s contractor completed the borings and has pulled the pipe for all three lines at Seaview Drive Bridge. They mobilized at Harbour Drive Bridge this week to begin the subaqueous boring for the waterline. The sewer and reclaimed water lines will follow. Final tie-ins for the lines at both Seaview and Harbour Drive bridges will be scheduled after installation at Harbour has been completed.

In anticipation of future bridge replacement projects at Harbour and Seaview Drive bridges, Florida Keys Electrical Cooperative has been coordinating with the engineer of record to identify items that will need to be relocated so this work can be performed before the bridge replacement projects.  

4/22/2022 Update: American Empire Builders (AEB) completed the excavation of unsuitable material on the west end of the Bimini Drive Bridge in preparation for forming and pouring the concrete footers for the wall on that side of the bridge; approximately 10 truckloads of material were excavated and removed from the site.  

Weather permitting, the concrete pile splice on the west end will commence the week of April 25; the contractor is planning to perform the splice on Wednesday, allow for the epoxy to cure, and then drive the remaining pile at the end of the week or early the following week. Upon completion of the pile driving, construction of the wall on the west end of the bridge will begin.

The time needed to design, fabricate, and construct the pile splice has resulted in an extension of the project schedule of two months; the scheduled completion date of the project is April 2023.  The contractor will work to reduce the project time where possible. 

The contractor has fabricated the rebar and forms to construct the concrete pile cap on the east side of the bridge at an offsite location. The contractor anticipates constructing the pile cap in the next two week. 

FKAA’s contractor completed the final tie-in of the underwater line at Bimini Drive Bridge on April 6; the boring sites were backfilled and compacted and a “punch list walkthrough” of the site was performed this week to identify additional site restoration needs. 

FKAA’s contractor completed the borings and have pulled the pipe for all three lines at Seaview Drive Bridge; the pipeline contractor will remobilize at Harbour Drive Bridge on May 2 to perform underwater utility installation there. Final tie-ins for the lines will be scheduled.

In anticipation of future bridge replacement projects at Harbour and Seaview Drive bridges, Florida Keys Electrical Cooperative has been coordinating with the engineer of record to identify items that will need to be relocated so that this work can be performed prior to the bridge replacement projects. 

Utility Relocation - FKEC Work Status

 For questions, contact: Michael J Roberge, Director of Engineering, Florida Keys Electric Cooperative, Office: 305-852-1034, Cell: 231-675-8500. 

Aerial view of the Duck Key bridges and islands affected


The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) inspectors advised that three interior Duck Key bridges that affect Harbour Island, Plantation Island, and Yacht Club Island need to be replaced.

Weight Restrictions

As of Nov. 18, 2021, there are no longer weight restrictions on any of the Duck Key bridges. Florida Legal loads can cross. 

Due to the width and geometry of the strengthened lanes on Harbour and Seaview Drive bridges, there is a restriction for tractor-trailers. This restriction will be lifted when Phase II, reconstruction of the second lane on both bridges, is complete.

Marine Traffic Update: Bimini Bridge

The contractor has secured construction barges underneath the Bimini Drive bridge as of Jan. 21, 2021.  The barges will remain in place for the duration of the project and will block all marine traffic underneath the bridge until the anticipated project completion date of June 30, 2022. The contact person for the Construction Engineering and Inspection (CEI) consultant for this project can be submitted to keith.duke@wsp.com.

Timeline

The date is subject to change and will be updated accordingly.

The design team has finalized the construction plans for the bridge strengthening at Bimini Bridge and is in the design phases for the temporary strengthening for Harbor and Seaview bridges. The design team has already begun coordinating with the Coast Guard for approval since the installation of beams will reduce the clearance under those bridges. The completed bridges will be at the same height as the original bridges. 

Permits

Active unexpired building permits affected by the weight limits on Bimini, Seaview, and Harbour Drive bridges will not be required to get inspections until 180 days after a solution for delivery of materials is available. If someone with an open permit is able to proceed by other means before that time, they may do so.

Garbage Service Updates

Garbage service is not affected by bridgework.

Background

The Bimini Bridge, constructed in 1955, was already scheduled for replacement. County staff accelerated the bidding process for the Bimini Bridge with an estimated contract period to complete the replacement is 18 months. The County approved a strengthening plan for the existing north lane of the Bimini Bridge. This will allow one lane of traffic to cross while the south side of the permanent bridge is being constructed. The strengthened section will allow Florida legal weight limits to cross without a reduced weight load. Bimini Bridge affects Harbour, Plantation, and Yacht Club islands and also connects to the Harbour Drive and Seaview bridges.