WSP was selected to design the replacement of the Veterans Memorial Bridge (Orange Avenue Bridge) in Daytona Beach. 


Location

  • Daytona Beach, Florida, USA

Sector

Service

  • Bridge Design
  • Highway and Road Design
  • Planning, Environmental and Design Management
  • (View all)

Client

  • Volusia County, FL

Project Value

  • 1 M$

Project Status

  • Ongoing


Understanding the Project’s Complexities

The new bridge will be a high-level alternative on approximately the same alignment as the existing bridge to minimize environmental and right-of-way impacts. The new bridge will have a vertical clearance of 20 m (65 feet) and a horizontal clearance of 38 m (125 feet). The typical section consists of two 3.35 m-through lanes (11-foot), one in each direction, and 1.5 m (five-foot) wide outside shoulders. 1.5 m (five-foot) sidewalks, separated by a 45 cm (1.5-foot) railing are also on both sides of the bridge.

Working for Volusia County and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), WSP designed a high level replacement for an aging movable bridge that currently spans the Intracoastal Waterway (ICWW) in Daytona Beach. Due to strong community opposition to the high-level alternative during the PD&E process, a Project Advisory Committee (PAC) was established to help guide the design process and ensure that all stakeholders were consulted.

The project offered several unique design challenges. The required 19.8 m (65 ft) vertical clearance over the ICWW combined with the relatively short bridge length resulted in excessively steep (7%) approach grades. Limited project right-of-way required an “in-line” replacement and a full detour for all traffic and pedestrians. As a result, the required construction schedule was a key concern for residents and business owners. Furthermore, the client wanted a “signature” structure despite a relatively modest construction budget of $42M.

Navigational channel
38 m
Width
53 m
Length
575 m

A Two-Prong Approach

Public Involvement: The WSP team used a blended concept development and outreach process to help gather valuable input, build advocacy and create excitement for the project. By  involving the community early, and developing solutions based specifically on their input, our team ensured that they had ownership and pride in the study, and ultimately in their new bridge. A significant component of our approach involved the assembly of a community and agency led PAC. Committee members acted as representatives for key stakeholders, helping the study team better understand community concerns and priorities. The committee also served as a critical link back to their constituents, sharing the progress of the study, and receiving valuable feedback along the way. The engagement effort proved to be remarkably successful, with all stakeholders taking pride in the design, and the community showing full support for the selected alternative at the Public Workshop.

Technical Approach: Through close collaboration with Volusia County, FDOT and the community-led PAC, a unique and historic replacement bridge design was developed, consisting of open spandrel approaches and a thru-arch main span. The thru-arch main span allowed us to reduce the bridge profile, addressing a primary PAC concern. However, this bridge concept presented several design challenges.

  • First, arch bridges of this type typically utilize cast-in-place (CIP) construction, which results in lengthy construction schedules. Due to the required in-line replacement and full detour, the design team approached this structure type in an innovative way. We developed a concept that maximized the use of pre-cast components, including all arch components, so that much of the bridge would be “built offsite”. This “precast initiative” resulted in over 50% of the bridge concrete work being precast rather than CIP and reduced the required construction schedule by over a year. 
  • Second, the owner’s firm construction budget of $42M. The preferred arch bridge concept would typically require a much larger budget than what was available.  We were able to refine the design by developing a prescriptive construction sequence that significantly reduced required foundation materials. The precast design approach also resulted in a “unique” structure that contractors might view as risky. To mitigate contractor risk, we developed a full 3D design and Bridge Visualization sheets that clearly showed how the precast elements had to be assembled. Through feedbacks from several contractors, it is clear that the 3D approach to plan production reduced the “contingencies” that contractors carried in their bids.

Rallying the Community to the Project

Our engagement approach via the PAC committee and Public Meetings reversed all opposition to the project and built genuine community excitement for the new bridge. The 3D design approach and Bridge Visualization efforts resulted in a winning bid 10% below the engineer’s estimate and owner budget.

WSP was selected to design the replacement of the Veterans Memorial Bridge (Orange Avenue Bridge) in Daytona Beach. The new bridge will be a high-level alternative on approximately the same alignment as the existing bridge to minimize environmental and right-of-way impacts. The new bridge will have a vertical clearance of 20 m (65 feet) and a horizontal clearance of 38 m (125 feet). The typical section consists of two 3.35 m-through lanes (11-foot), one in each direction, and 1.5 m (five-foot) wide outside shoulders. 1.5 m (five-foot) sidewalks, separated by a 45 cm (1.5-foot) railing are also on both sides of the bridge.