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2014 DBIA Florida Region Awards: Big John Monahan Reconstruction

The Design-Build Team received a perfect Contractor’s Past Performance Rating of 110 and completed the project an impressive 104 days ahead of schedule.
Big John Monahan

WGI is pleased to announce it won the Design-Build Institute of America – Florida Region’s Transportation Award for the Big John Monahan Reconstruction project in western Martin County, part of the Florida Department of Transportation’s District 4.

WGI can credit its win to many elements of the complex, high-profile project, most notably a unique and strategic land purchase that allowed a bridge shortening of nearly 1000 feet, resulting in approximately $15 million in taxpayer savings. The Team also provided innovation and significant cost savings by relocating the ponds from underneath the fixed-span, high-level bridge, where it is difficult to maintain turf.

Big John Monahan

The Design-Build Team of Cone & Graham and WGI set newly approved 84-foot Florida I Beams (FIBs) spanning 185 feet – the longest FIBs ever set in the state. The Team also received a perfect Contractor’s Past Performance Rating of 110 on a large-scale design-build contract and completed the project an impressive 104 days ahead of schedule.

“The Big John Monahan Project faced many interesting challenges,” said David Wantman, PE, president of WGI. “The Department of Transportation deemed the bridge functionally obsolete, yet it was a primary hurricane evacuation route and part of the Strategic Intermodal System. A single bridge constructed in 1965 had to be replaced with twin bridges.”

Florida I-Beam

In addition to the technical challenges of building the new bridge and maintaining traffic along a busy route, the structure spans the St. Lucie Canal/Okeechobee Waterway, a jurisdictional riverine wetland. The Big John Monahan Bridge is also within close proximity to the Seaboard Airline Railway/CSX Railroad Swing Bridge and the Potter House. Both of these structures are potentially eligible for listing in the National Register, and mitigating vibration was vital.

“Special lifting devices were designed, and two large 750-ton hydraulic cranes were used to set the Florida I Beams. The Cone & Graham and WGI Design-Build Team, along with subconsultants and subcontractors, worked seamlessly together with all the involved stakeholders. We are extremely proud of the outcome, and of the recognition of a job well done.”

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