Broward County Bridge Coatings Inspection

Scrupulous maintenance program ensures safe, long-lasting service for Florida motorists

In total, an estimated 85,000 motorists use three steel bridges in Broward County, Florida, every day. That number will likely increase in the coming years as the county’s population grows to a projected 2 million residents by 2022. The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) took steps to ensure that the bridges will continue to safely serve motorists for decades to come. The dual-span structures were recoated to extend their service life by at least 25 years.

The project entailed completely removing the existing structural steel coatings and replacing them with new coating systems to control corrosion. Gannett Fleming, as a subconsultant to A&P Engineers, provided construction engineering inspection services to ensure that all work was completed on time and in accordance with FDOT standards.

What We Did

Old coating removal and surface cleaning to near-white metal blast standards ensured a strong bond between the underlying steel and the new coating. The application of a high-performance coating system significantly reduces the risk of corrosion, which can weaken the integrity of a steel structure. FDOT requires stripe coating of vulnerable spots such as welds, edges, nut and bolt assemblies, and rivets before the final coat to provide additional corrosion protection. Coating layers must be applied in specific thicknesses for optimum performance.

Through on-site inspection of all construction activities, Gannett Fleming confirmed that proper surface preparation and the application of new coatings and finishes will provide long-lasting bridge protection. Expert materials sampling and testing ensured that all solvents, coatings, and sealers used on the project offered high-quality results. The team’s work included facilitating effective communication between all parties involved in the project to resolve conflicts and maintain the project schedule.

Key Features

  • Coating removal and surface cleaning create proper foundation.
  • New coating application and finishing provide long-term protection.
  • Materials sampling and testing ensure compliance with FDOT standards.
OUTCOMES

Service life of three heavily-used steel bridges extended by 25 years.

Confirmation of proper surface preparation and coating application.

Verification of the use of high-quality materials as specified by owner.