Assessing bridge deficiencies after a natural disaster
Hurricanes in Florida are known to damage the state’s infrastructure if they are severe. That’s the case with the Sebastian Inlet Bridge—it spans Sebastian Inlet, one of five navigable channels that connect the Indian River Lagoon to the Atlantic Ocean. The bridge is located adjacent to the Sebastian Inlet State Park and within the Sebastian Inlet District Commission right of way.
Following Hurricane Florence in 2018, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) District Four engaged us to evaluate the bridge for possible storm damage. We were the prime consultant for the Project Development and Environment Study. Based on our evaluation, the bridge was rated as structurally deficient with a sufficiency rating of 51.6 and a health index of 79.8—bridges with a health index of less than 85 require repairs or replacement. Once a bridge is identified as structurally deficient, as this one was, FDOT's work program requires that repair or replacement corrective actions are initiated within six years.
Currently underway, the project looks to address the bridge’s structural and functional deficiencies identified in our study and will also address the gap in system linkage for bicyclists and pedestrians.
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