In Jacksonville the intersection of Atlantic Blvd. – a main thoroughfare to some of North Florida’s most popular beaches – and Kernan Blvd. has long been notorious as one of the area’s most dangerous and congested intersections. In fact, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office routinely reports this intersection as the site of more traffic accidents than any other within the Jacksonville city limits. To improve the situation, the Florida DOT decided that constructing an Atlantic overpass to cross over Kernan was the best solution. Such an overpass would eliminate traffic lights, reduce congestion and, for the thousands of cars that utilize the route every year, improve safety. Orlando-based Hubbard Construction Company was chosen to complete the $26 million initiative, spearheaded by project manager Mike Zanella, and they selected Mabey Inc. to help them do it.
Working with Mabey engineer Andy Wilkin and product specialist Greg Borys, Hubbard decided on a custom-engineered arrangement utilizing Mabey’s System 160 structural shoring equipment. System 160 is easily transported and quickly assembled on site, eliminating the need for custom fabrication or additional splicing. This meant a real savings in time and money to Hubbard. The towers support six steel beams which will serve as the foundation of the 380′ overpass bridge’s deck. Hubbard also constructed two concrete block ramps on each side of Kernan. These ramps, once complete, will carry Atlantic Blvd. traffic up to – and down from – the overpass bridge which will span Kernan Blvd. Nearby businesses, re-routing of vehicular traffic and extensive relocation of underground utilities complicated the project initially, but Hubbard’s experienced team soon overcame these obstacles. And, thanks to the System 160′s high strength to weight ratio, the towers will safety support the roughly four ton load throughout the duration of the two mile long project.
The west-bound phase of the project is scheduled to wrap-up by the end of December. East-bound construction will begin in January 2010 and conclude by the end of the year.