Award of Excellence: Transportation Category
Hubert H. Humphrey Bridge Restoration
Submitted by Southern Concrete Repair
The Hubert H. Humphrey Bridge spans the Indian River on State Road 520 in Cocoa, Florida. The Bridge actually consists of two bridges standing side by side, each over 3/4 mile (1.2 kilometers) long, which were built approximately 30 years ago. The structural system of the bridge consists of clusters of driven pile, pile caps, struts and columns, prestressed beams, and a poured-in-place deck.
Over the years the columns, struts, and pile caps that were in the splash zone were exposed to a harsh and aggressive environment due to the salt water and high winds. These elements had taken their toll on the concrete where the rebar had insufficient concrete coverage. Sections of the pile caps were actually falling into the river as deterioration continued.
Structural concrete restoration was performed on the underside of the superstructure of the bridge on the columns, struts, and pile caps. Repairs ranged from routing out and repairing small cracks to extensive concrete pours requiring the design of special forms and innovative pumping techniques to complete. Two coats of epoxy paint were used to seal the concrete and to extend the life span of the bridge. The repairs took 14 months to complete (April 1996 to June 1997). According to Southern Concrete’s Jim Tombarello, “I couldn’t believe that we actually got paid to do this job. This was one of the most pleasurable projects that we have ever undertaken. Every morning I would drive the work boat out to the bridge with my dog Savannah at the bow and the sun rising before me. At times schools of dolphin would be frolicking nearby, manatees would approach the boat for a ‘rub,’ and Savannah would spend the day chasing birds and playing on the shore.”