Lane Construction Corp. completed the $126.4-million SR 408 improvement project, the largest ever let by the Orlando Orange County Expressway Authority in Florida, in October 2009. The project was on time, under budget and without a lost-time accident.

Photo Courtesy Lane Construction Corp.
Photo Courtesy Lane Construction Corp.

The job entailed widening of eight existing bridges, reconstruction of one bridge, construction of two new bridges, design-build of architectural precast at bridges, widening the highway from six to eight lanes and replacement of rigid concrete pavement with asphalt pavement.

Also, construction of two new mainline toll plazas, demolition of the old mainline toll plaza and the transfer of toll collections from the old to new facilities without interruption, all while 130,000 vehicles passed through the project daily.

Lane began work on the project in September 2006. The company substituted steel “H” piles for 24-in. prestressed concrete piles. With the project’s bridges in close proximity to existing homes and businesses, driving steel H-pile was more forgiving to the surrounding area than concrete piles would have been. The steel H-piles also helped to accelerate the schedule by eliminating the need to wait on test pile results and the casting and curing of concrete piles.

Lane recycled 87,000 sq yds of existing 9-in-thick concrete pavement, removing it, crushing it onsite and placing it as base material.

The project included the addition of 500 aesthetic precast fascia, or cladding panels, to each of the five areas where the expressway crossed over local streets. This work accounted for approximately 10% of the project cost, or more than $2.5 million per bridge.

The colored concrete features brown ribbed lower sections, ledges and reveals and smooth tan-colored upper sections. In addition, 20 pylons, or tapered corner encasements, were added at the four corners of each bridge. To round out the pleasing appearance, dark green fiber-reinforced plastic trim panels were attached to the top of the wall panels and also to the outer beam face of the bridge.

Lane also installed 130 precast columns spaced out along the project’s sound barrier walls. To finalize the aesthetic improvements, all exposed concrete surfaces received a light brown, dark brown or green finish. The color scheme gives an aesthetically pleasing and natural look to the expressway.

Travel times through the duration of the project compared favorably to preconstruction travel times. The expressway authority did not experience a decrease in toll revenues because of construction.

Key Players

Owner: Orlando Orange County Expressway Authority
Contractor: The Lane Construction Corp.
Engineers: Dyer Riddle Mills Precourt, IDA Consulting Engineers