Let’s open with the lauding.
“The completion of the widening of SR 80 in Hendry County has enhanced the mobility and safety of the traveling public, commuters, and the trucking industry with the addition of lanes and lighting along the corridor. Excellent teamwork by project stakeholders and staff was key to the successful completion of a quality project delivered on time and within budget.” That’s according to Construction Project Manager Stacy Hill.
And Project Administrator Keith Riddle had this to say: “This project’s success can be attributed to all stakeholders having common goals and working together as a team to accomplish those goals. Partnering is sometimes overstated, but it was truly a key factor for this project’s success by fostering relationships and working transparently with all stakeholders.”
Now the qualifiers: This project consisted of the construction of 12-ft-wide travel lanes in each direction with a 64-ft grassed median. Additional work included repaving the current lanes on SR 80 and constructing 10 new bridges. Three bridges required full demolition and removal of the existing bridges to construct the new ones. In addition, new turn lanes at the major intersections were constructed, street lighting was installed at three intersections, grassed borders laid along both sides of the roadway, and roadside ditches and off-site ponds were constructed to accommodate stormwater runoff. The project entailed clearing 291 acres, installing 7 miles of new drainage pipes, 8 miles of new guardrail, and planting 209 acres of grass.
Hurricanes Dorian and Irma occurred during construction, but even though construction activities were suspended for the duration of the storms, the process went very smoothly due to the coordination between FDOT, the Construction Engineering Inspector (CEI), and contractor.
The project team also used innovative methods for construction during the COVID-19 pandemic, including asphalt e-ticketing. Shipping information and weights were sent electronically, allowing the contractor to receive the necessary information without human contact, which likely saved lives.