SR 786 (PGA Boulevard) Reconstruction Design-Build SR 710 To C-18 Canal
The westernmost two miles of PGA Boulevard (SR 786) in Palm Beach Gardens crosses the Loxahatchee Slough, a pristine 12,000-acre wetland ecosystem. This segment of roadway flooded occasionally, which created unsafe driving conditions and roadway deterioration. The roadway was also interfering with the hydrologic connection between the wetlands on either side of it.
As lead designer, WGI developed the engineering plans to raise the road and restore the hydrology, and used several creative or innovative approaches to maximize the environmental benefits:
- Through the Design-Build process, WGI was able to reduce a half-acre of wetland impacts by reducing the length and height of the new bridge and other design modifications.
- WGI increased the conceptual design hydrologic flow from 1090 cubic feet per second (cfs) to 1219 cfs by designing multiple culverts and a new bridge. The single-span bridge and box culverts provided for water flow and gave the Slough’s water managers greater operational flexibility to move water from the Grassy Waters Preserve north to the Loxahatchee Slough.
- WGI designed an innovative wildlife crossing that shortened the bridge yet made a wider more effective wildlife crossing.
- The bridge was designed to allow passage of kayaks and canoes. The area is open to the public and provides an outstanding opportunity for experiencing nature. The bridge removes the obstacle to recreational kayaking and canoeing.
The project won a 2018 Design-Build Merit Award from the Design-Build Institute of America, Florida Region.