Repairs mortars support Bear Cut and West Bridges restoration in Florida

March 07, 2019
The Bear Cut and West Bridges
The Bear Cut and West Bridges

The Bear Cut Bridge and West Bridges is part of the Rickenbacker Causeway that connects Key Biscayne and Miami in Florida. The Rickenbacker Causeway is named after Eddie Rickenbacker, a WWI vet and founder of Eastern Air Lines. The original work on the bridges began in 1926, and in 1947 it was officially opened to traffic. Not only does the Bear Cut Bridge connect the southernmost island of Key Biscayne to Miami-Dade County, Fla., but it is a popular route for avid cyclists.

Over time, the harsh coastal environment of Biscayne Bay had severely deteriorated the superstructure. In 2012, the discovery of corroded steel support girders mandated the emergency replacement of the bridges.

Hardesty & Hanover and Kiewit Infrastructure South teamed together to provide design-build services for the design, demolition, and construction of a new superstructure for the Bear Cut and West Bridges. Kiewit Infrastructure South invited two construction materials suppliers, including MAPEI to conduct a field trial with the existing conditions at the jobsite. MAPEI was chosen to complete the bridge restoration based on several product performance advantages. Planitop X, a fast-setting, fiber-reinforced repair mortar, offers high early strength and very low permeability to chlorides. Planitop 15, a form-and-pour repair mortar, was chosen because of its mechanical properties as well as its ability to flow long distances without segregating.

Premier Corrosion Protection was the contractor of choice for the rehabilitation of the bridge and executed the structural repairs of delaminated areas on pier caps and columns. The new superstructure consists of modified pre-stressed concrete AASHTO Type II Girders. The girders were modified in height so that the existing bridge profile could be preserved. In addition, the new concrete superstructure had to maintain the original dead load so that the existing substructure would not be overstressed. The design and construction was completed within 16 months. The repairs to the bridge are estimated to extend the life of the Bear Cut Bridge by 40 years.

In 2014, the Bear Cut and West Bridges, Key Biscayne, Fla., project was awarded “Best Project—Renovation/Rehabilitation/ Restoration” and the “Honor Award—Infrastructure by the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) Southeast Region”. In 2015, the project was named “Project of the Year (III)” by the Cuban-American Association of Civil Engineers.

Construction on the bridge was officially completed in August 2014.

Related Articles

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao this week announced that the U.S. DOT will invest $1 billion in American infrastructure through the Better…
September 18, 2020
Pensacola Bay Bridge crane damage from Hurricane Sally
Image: City of Gulf Breeze via Twitter
A section of the Pensacola Bay Bridge, also known as the Three Mile Bridge, is missing as a result of damage to the bridge from Hurricane Sally,…
September 17, 2020
The California Transportation Commission (CTC) recently allocated more than $1.6 billion for transportation projects throughout the state. These…
September 16, 2020
The Mississippi Transportation Commission at a recent meeting awarded contracts for maintenance projects throughout the state. The Mississippi DOT (…
September 14, 2020
expand_less