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Superior Construction's Wekiva Parkway Section 6 Project Wins DBIA Florida Award

Thu August 03, 2023 - Southeast Edition #17
Superior Construction


Superior Construction, an American family-owned infrastructure contractor, has received the 2023 Design-Build Institute of America Florida Region's Transportation Structures Honor Award for its Wekiva Parkway Section 6 project.

The contractor's signature project also was awarded the Florida Transportation Builders' Association 2023 Best in Construction Award in the design-build category. These prestigious awards recognize companies and individuals who worked on Florida's most innovative, complex and impactful transportation projects.

Section 6 of the Wekiva Parkway is a testament to the fusion of functionality and beauty. The $247 million project rehabilitated a vital stretch of the Florida Department of Transportation's (FDOT) Wekiva Parkway through conscientious design and construction practices. It increases capacity between Lake and Seminole counties, redirects traffic from Florida's congested I-4 corridor and integrates harmoniously with its natural surroundings.

The project scope included a shared-use path, a non-tolled service road for local travel and several wildlife bridges to allow animals to pass safely between the Seminole State Forest and Rock Springs Run State Reserve, for a total of 18 bridges with more than 1.268 million square feet of deck.

Three of the bridges, dubbed the Wekiva River Crossing, were built across the federally designated Wild and Scenic River. They feature pier shapes inspired by trees and a concrete stain to match their surroundings, an excellent example of environmental stewardship incorporated into the design.

"We're immensely proud of our team for receiving both awards. It not only honors the dedicated professionals involved in bringing this project to fruition, but I hope it will also inspire future generations of bridge designers and engineers," said Superior Construction CEO Nick Largura.

Superior and WGI, Inc. developed their creative construction concept alongside Shelby, a qualified team with unique segmental bridge construction experience, and through a strategic partnership with FINLEY Engineering (now COWI).

The highly innovative project used top-down balanced cantilever construction for the segmental bridge spans over the Wekiva River. Doing so minimized environmental impacts by eliminating work in the water. To complete the project, the design-build team also employed Florida's first use of flexible filler for post-tensioning in a cast-in-place segmental bridge and the state's first use of a rebar-tying robot on a bridge deck.

This year's Best in Construction Award winners will be recognized at the FTBA Annual Convention Awards Breakfast in Boca Raton, Fla., on Aug. 4. The DBIA Florida region awards will be presented on Aug. 31 at the organization's annual awards luncheon.

For more information, visit superiorconstruction.com.

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The design team’s choice of a segmental bridge eliminated work in water and protected the environment using top-down balanced cantilever construction. Twin-column, fixed piers eliminated the need for additional cantilever stability props, minimizing environmental impacts. (WGI photo)
This transportation facility will have a significant economic impact on the region, as it will increase connectivity for tourists and freight operators. (WGI photo)
The Wekiva River Crossing is designated as a Federal Wild and Scenic River, which necessitated environmentally conscious construction methods. Throughout the preliminary design process, the Superior Construction-WGI team coordinated extensively with local agencies, stakeholders, and the National Park Service to achieve approval in accordance with the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. (WGI photo)
Section 6 of the Wekiva Parkway comprises nearly 6 mi. of limited access toll road primarily along the existing SR 46 corridor from SR 429 to just west of Longwood-Markham Road. (WGI photo)
The design-build team’s innovative use of top-down balanced cantilever construction for the segmental bridge spans over the Wekiva River minimized environmental impacts by eliminating work in the water. They also used wireless turbidity sensors to continuously monitor water turbidity. (Superior Construction photo)
The design-build team used 13 alternative technical concepts to improve the preliminary design, reduce the impact of traffic during construction, expedite construction, and enhance safety without compromising the surrounding environment. (WGI photo)
The Wekiva River Crossing stands as a testament to the fusion of functionality and beauty. It features pier shapes inspired by trees with a concrete stain to match its surroundings. (WGI photo)
Top-down balanced construction meant no work occurred in the protected Wild and Scenic Wekiva River. Two wireless turbidity sensors constantly monitored turbidity in the river. (Superior Construction photo)
The project protected the environment through design and construction means and methods. The tree canopy of the Wekiva River remained as intact as possible while the bridges were being built. (Superior Construction photo)
The Wekiva River Crossing, in its final condition, has been hailed as “prodigious” and “an open-air cathedral” by the Orlando Sentinel, which describes its piers as “elephantine columns engraved with shapes of tree trunks” whose“undersides are sculptural”. (WGI photo)
The project’s 838,000 sq. ft. of wildlife crossing areas have prevented vehicle-wildlife conflicts and provided connectivity for wildlife between Rock Springs Run State Reserve Park and Seminole State Forest. (WGI photo)
The project enhances connectivity for humans, too. It decreases congestion and increases capacity between eastern Lake County and western Seminole County, removing traffic from the heavily congested I-4 corridor and improving safety. It includes an access road that optimizes entry to rural neighborhoods and businesses and improves access to Rock Springs Park. (WGI photo)
An overview of the project’s expansive reach and geographical impact on Central Florida. (WGI photo)
Wekiva Parkway Section 6 has numerous wildlife crossings, minimizing its impact on the natural habitat and reducing vehicle-wildlife conflicts. (WGI photo).
The project reduces congestion on the nearby high-volume Interstate 4 and improves the flow of traffic along the Wekiva Parkway, which serves as an alternate route across Florida’s Lake and Seminole counties. (WGI photo)
 
 




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