Saturday, September 2, 2017

Pensacola Bay Bridges

(Bridge Hunter doesn't have a lot of information and it has a serious mistake, Satellite)

Three miles of water separate the metro area of Pensacola, FL from the Gulf beaches.

In 1931, the two-lane Thomas A. Johnson Bridge was built with a draw bridge over the navigation channel.
PensacolaBayBridge, circa 1950s
In 1960, the four-lane Phillip D. Beall Memorial Bridge was built with a high span over the navigation channel. The old bridge then served as two 1.5 mile long fishing piers until it was largely destroyed by Hurricane Ivan in 2004. In 1989, an allision by a barge forced traffic to use ferries for a few months. The state took advantage of this outage to widen the bridge for shoulders (emergency lanes). [Wikipedia]
Photo from PulseGulfCoast
Birds-Eye View, looking East

UWF Historic Trust
The design life was 50 years and in 2010 it was deemed structurally deficient and would have to be replaced by 2016. [Wikipedia] It must have been functionally deficient also because the new bridge will "accommodate a total of six travel lanes, adjacent 10-foot shoulders, and 10-foot shared-use paths for bicyclists and pedestrians. Completion of the new bridge is currently scheduled for summer 2020 (or 2021, depending on source)." [PensacolaBayBridge] But the key date is 2019 when the eventual eastbound lanes will be done. All traffic will then be moved to that structure so that the existing bridge can be demolished to make room for the construction of  the westbound lanes.
FDOT from [pnj-public]
I have not been able to find information on the height and width of the navigation channels of the current and new bridges, but the tied-concrete arch looks longer. The regular spans are increased from 53 to 150 feet. This not only reduces the number of piers needed, it improves the tidal flows and the ecosystem of Pensacola Bay. Not only does the new bridge used pre-stressed concrete, it uses additives to prevent salt intrusion. They will have to waste money on steel reinforcement and rehabilitation of the current bridge just before it is going to be torn down in 2019. Evidently it really did need to be replaced in 2016 as was predicted in 2010. It did survive the category 4 Hurricane Ivan that hit the region in 2004. [pnj-extend]

Residents of Gulf Breeze, the town on the sun-and-fun peninsula, are worried about the impact that will be caused by 3-lanes of inbound traffic being dumped onto the town. [pnj-public]
(new window)

(new window)  Skip to 1:54 for the construction process.


pre-stressed concrete plant is being built at a shipyard that has been abandoned for decades. [PulseGulfCoast] In addition to the "trophies" pictured below, the pilings and 150-foot span beams use concrete. The piling test described below implies the pilings rely on soil friction, rather than reaching bedrock, for support. I haven't found a description of how the concrete pilings are capped so that they can withstand the forces of driving the piles into the ground. Normally large impact forces are used to destroy concrete structures.

Workers at the Bayou Chico concrete casting yard have fabricated the first “trophy piece” for the new Pensacola Bay Bridge. These pieces incorporate a pile footer, column, and pile cap as a single component. They’re called “trophy pieces” because of their resemblance to a trophy or award.
Large barge-mounted construction cranes will be used to place these pieces atop the production piles that have been driven into the bay bottom. Once the trophy pieces are in place they will be connected horizontally by concrete beams. The bridge deck, which includes the riding surface, will then be constructed atop the beams.
Adnan Najem shared
\A construction crane lifts a 210-foot concrete test pile into position for driving. This will be the longest pile driven in the program.
Concrete piles are vulnerable to stress as they’re lifted from a horizontal position on the barge to a vertical position for driving. Notice the pile is attached to the crane using four leads in an effort to limit stress.
Data derived from the test pile program enables design engineers to determine the length and driving criteria for the permanent production piles. The bridge design calls for driving approximately 2,000 piles into the bay bottom.
Robert Kenneth Smith posted eight photos with the comment: "Pensacola Bridge, cranes everywhere."




Screenshot (source)
Ben Stalvey shared
Manitowoc 888 Ringer hard at work in Pensacola
Trophy pieces consist of a footer, column, and cap, all in a single component. They're rigged and lifted into place using a crane.
Some of the trophy pieces will weigh in excess of a quarter-million-pounds. They're fabricated at the concrete casting yard on nearby Bayou Chico and transported to the bridge construction site via barges.
Mike Hurlburt posted
Running a little older one today but man she’s sexy.
[I recognized a couple of the "trophy pieces" in the background. I particularly like the roll of duct tape hanging on the left side!]
Mike Hurlburt 1980 3900w
Brent M Nelson 90% if the crane operators these days couldn’t fire one of these up, let alone run one.
A video from a cab by Mike Hurlburt. I recognized a couple of "trophies."

Ben Stalvey shared
Mike Hurlburt I run the 888 in the middle all by itself lolJoe Eller Skanska?Mike Hurlburt Joe Eller yep
My Pensacola Bay Bridge posting
Pensacola Bay Bridge “By the Numbers”
Crews are working to drive concrete piles, place trophy pieces, and install beams for the new Pensacola Bay Bridge. Here’s a look at the progress on those activities through January of this year.
Contract days: 501 of 1,429
Test and production piles driven: 849 of 2,124
Trophy pieces placed: 34 of 416
Florida I-Beams set: 40 of 1,020
Completion of the first new bridge, the eventual eastbound (Pensacola to Gulf Breeze) bridge, is currently scheduled for January 2019.
At that time, two lanes of eastbound and two lanes of westbound traffic will be transitioned to the new bridge and the current structure will be demolished so that work can continue on the westbound bridge (Gulf Breeze to Pensacola) bridge. The westbound bridge is currently slated for completion in summer 2020.
Keep in mind schedules may vary based on weather and a host of other conditions that could impact a construction project of this duration, magnitude, and complexity.

Lonnie Hewerdine posted
Loading bathtubs for Pensacola bay bridge
[4100 ringer. Looks like they are loading it onto a barge. But this raises the question: what is a bathtub used for?]
Mike Hurlburt posted three photos with the comment: "This here is a fun Girder setting Saturday y’all! Y’all have a good weekend and keep the shiny side up."
[I recognized the "trophy pieces" in the third photo before Pensacola was confirmed by a comment. From the comments, I gather this is an 888 ringer on a barge, and the girder is a light load for it.]


My Pensacola Bay Bridge posted
More than 200 crew members are working to construct the new Pensacola Bay Bridge. To keep pace with the schedule, multiple operations are underway simultaneously. In the foreground of this photo a trophy piece is being lifted into position, while in the background a crane lifts a pile and prepares to drive it.

My Pensacola Bay Bridge posted
Here is an aerial view of work underway for the eventual eastbound (Pensacola to Gulf Breeze) bridge. Also visible are some of the trophy pieces that will become part of the westbound bridge. A portion of the westbound bridge will be constructed within the footprint of the existing structure, so additional work on this bridge will wait until all traffic is temporarily transitioned onto the eventual eastbound bridge and the current structure is demolished.

My Pensacola Bay Bridge posted
Construction crews set the first steel beams for the portion of the bridge over the navigational channel Wednesday, Jan. 30. Steel girders will be used for the 375-foot-long center span and the 210-foot approach spans on each side.
This girder section is 10-feet in height and 275-feet in length.
For the center span, steel girders represent a more economical choice than concrete. They can be assembled into a single-unit on-site and installed faster than concrete. This creates savings of both time and money.

Ben Stalvey shared
888 Ringer hard at work
Waylon Boyette They have 2 888 ringers 2 4100 ringers 2 4100s and 2 3900s
Jerry Herrera posted two photos with the comment: "Tag team action on steel girders . 660 ton 888 Ringers."


Mitch Eggburn posted nine photos with the comment: "I was in Pensacola this past weekend [July 2020]. Couldn't get any good shots of all the red working on the new bridge, but here's what I could get."
David Waller It was two trip 8’s on rings there
Matthew Ethier Yes 2 - 888ringers
1 - 4100 ringer
4 - 888

1 - 4000

Matthew Ethier commented on Mitch's post

Matthew Ethier commented on Mitch's post

Matthew Ethier commented on Mitch's post

Matthew Ethier commented on Mitch's post

Marty Paulsen shared
The 800,000-pound arches are expected to quickly become an element of architectural distinction that will establish the new Pensacola Bay Bridge as a community landmark for generations. In addition to their aesthetic splendor, the arches are designed to provide structural support for the 10-foot-wide multiuse paths that will be part of both the east and westbound bridges.
Jack Hines Does the ring walk forward on those beams or are they barge stiffeners??
Riley Anderson Jack Hines the beams are to hold the barges together. The 888 ringers on this job are mounted on multiple barges made into a single work platform to support all of the weight.

Photo/ Santa Rosa County Emergency Management via AccuWeather
The Pensacola Bay Bridge was closed on Tuesday [Sep 15, 2020] after it was struck by a barge that came loose amid [Hurricane] Sally's approach.

[I hope that everybody that needed to evacuate had already left. The crane would be from the contractor. Was the barge also one of the contractors?]

Drone video of the bridge damage done by several runaway barges  (source)  It doesn't start with the worse damage. At 1:43, most of a span is gone.

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