A major connector between I-75 and U.S. 41, Johnson Engineering played a key role in the Alico Road improvements project for the Lee County DOT (LCDOT) or transportation advance for the south Fort Myers area. The project involved the total reconstruction of three miles of a two-lane rural roadway to a six-lane urban arterial. As the construction engineering and inspection (CEI) team entrusted by LCDOT to get the job done right, administered the construction contract monitoring the contractors efforts. Responsible for all project documentation verification and quality control, our personnel finished the project on time and within budgetary restraints. This project included the inspection of nearly three miles of the new 36″ DIP water main for Lee County Utilities; over two miles of improvements to the Briarcliff drainage ditch connecting Alico Road Facility to the Ten Mile Slough water management system; and a large weir structure. Major permitting issues were successfully dealt with and resolved by the onsite team dealing with several different public and private agencies, most notably, the South Florida Water Management District, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and the improvements to several railroad crossings. This was a major undertaking particularly when the Florida Department of Transportation started improvements of the I-75 and Alico Road interchange. Our CEI team worked with the FDOT to effectively coordinate multiple maintenance of traffic plans for the benefit of both projects and most importantly the traveling public.
Charlotte County, one of the fastest growing counties in Southwest Florida, needed to improve Veterans Boulveard, a major thoroughfare near the I-75 Kings Highway interchange to Toledo Blade Blvd and U.S. 41. The partially constructed project needed to be completed to the planned four-lane urban roadway and extended by reconstructing the remainder of the two-lane roadway to the four-lane urban section to Peachland Blvd near Kings Highway. The project involved major drainage facility construction including large ponds for road drainage within the enlarged right of way provided by Charlotte County. This project required the documentation, management, cost control measures, and construction expertise of our construction engineering and inspection personnel. The project was completed on time even with the coordination issues between the two counties that bordered the project. Our team is uniquely suited to accomplish these types of projects and provide our governmental clients the assurance that we can get the job done right.
Johnson Engineering provided construction engineering and inspection services for the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to expand the existing two-lane roadway to a four-lane roadway, with a center left turn lane and median urban section of 3.5 miles of S.R. 776 from Dearborn Street north to Keyway Road in Sarasota County. The project included new drainage, roadway, box culverts, signalization, and highway lighting, as well as utility improvements and relocations by FPL, GTE, Comcast Cable and the Englewood Water District. Our team was instrumental in making this project a success for the FDOT even though major drainage and disruption to residential neighborhoods proved to be challenging.
The eight-mile Immokalee Road (C.R. 846) project from Collier Boulevard (C.R. 951) to Shady Hollow Boulevard is the largest roadway project undertaken by the Collier County Transportation Department to date. Originally scheduled to be a four-lane widening of a two-lane rural roadway project, it was enlarged to a six-lane facility shortly after the four-lane contract was let to the contractor. As the construction engineering and inspectors on the project, Johnson Engineering had the responsibility to work with the engineer of record to prepare and document the change order to provide for this enlargement. After a year of renegotiating the construction contract for Collier County, we prepared the final change and worked it through the Collier County agencies for final approval. Even with this year long effort, the project was completed within the five year construction window provided by the Collier County Commission. This was more than a roadway project, it also included the construction of 16 miles of new utility lines water main and force main for future growth in the area. However, due to the rapid growth in the area the team had to put nearly three miles of new utilities into service for immediate use. All of this was accomplished and has turned out to be one of the signature transportation facilities in Collier County. This large project also required the careful protection of the Cochahatchee Canal which borders the Immokalee Road alignment for nearly six miles. With several hurricanes and major rain events, the canal maintenance was a major issue for the team to handle. Coordinating with the Big Cypress Basin Drainage District (SFWMD) we were able to facilitate the clean out and protection of this vital drainage canal for the district and the residents of Collier County. In addition, a wildlife crossing required by the environmental permits was added. This crossing involved the addition of a vertical curve over the crossing as well as major drainage changes and utility additions. The team worked quickly to resolve the issues, not causing any delay to the contractor’s schedule.
Bordered on the north by Lee County and on the south by Collier County, Bonita Beach Road from Vanderbilt Drive to the Hickory Island area involved the reconstruction of a two-lane rural roadway to an urban five-lane facility and replacement of two pile driven bridges. The Fish Trap Bridge was a major bridge spanning the Inter-Coastal waterway requiring not only maintenance of traffic for automobiles but waterway traffic as well. Johnson Engineering was selected to perform the construction engineering and inspection services for this 2.4 mile project for Lee County Department of Transportation. Several special issues became evident one being that Bonita Beach Road is a main hurricane evacuation route. Maintenance of traffic had to account for the possibility of storms requiring movement of people from the islands connected to the roadway from the north. One of the unique design solutions for the drainage retention and stormwater treatment involved underground French drains within the right-of-way. This presented a few special issues for the inspection team but after a few slow starts the process was perfected. There were major sub soils excavation and geo-grid mat underlying the roadway base to stabilize the roadway for long-term service. Utilities were relocated for two utility companies and telephone and overhead power were relocated. One of the most challenging issues on this project involved the business access along the roadway since the business density was high for both sides of the roadway. Special signs were posted to direct the shoppers and patrons to the access points for the businesses they were visiting. This project was completed in 17 months and was awarded the 1998 American Public Works Association (APWA) National Project of the Year.
Johnson Engineering has participated in various capacities on several major design-build projects throughout Southwest Florida. One of the most notable was the I-75 Peace River Bridge design-build project for the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The project consisted of the construction of a new bridge structure between the existing bridges, the complete demolition of the existing northbound I-75 bridge span, and the reconstruction of the southbound span making the two bridges a new six-lane facility. This project was the first federal aid design-build project in the State of Florida with our construction engineering and inspection (CEI) team included as part of the design-build team. We were on the “oversight” team and our responsibilities included oversight management for FHWA and the FDOT of the design-build teams CEI which was primarily responsible for construction quality control. Primary to this effort was the quality assurance program overseeing the contractors’ construction quality control program in all project phases, including verification of sampling and testing material requirements and procedures as outlined in the FDOT and FHWA specifications including equal employment opportunity and on the job training reporting, documentation, and support.
We provided not only CEI support oversight, but documented environmental monitoring of the tidal estuary spanned by this new facility. Additional involvement included survey verification of driven pile locations and the EEO support for FDOT District One and the FHWA for the duration of the project.
The project was awarded the National AGC/AON Build America Award, which by comparison is the “Oscar” for the construction industry. Projects are judged by contractors nationwide with all other projects in America. It is the highest award a contractor can receive.
Working directly for the contractor on one of the first Florida Department of Transportation design-build roadway projects executed in the state, Johnson Engineering performed the quality control and contract management on U.S. 41 from S.R. 951 to Myrtle Lane in Naples. We were responsible for all duties on this project, which were previously always assigned to the construction engineering inspectors working directly for the department. We successfully worked with the contractor settling extra work issues and monitoring the contractor’s progress through administering the department’s contractors past performance rating program. This project was successfully completed on time and within budget.