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Eller Drive and Intermodal Container Transfer Facility Overpass Wins 2016 Outstanding Major Project Award from FICE

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T.Y. Lin International (TYLI), a globally recognized full-service infrastructure consulting firm, announces that the Eller Drive and Intermodal Container Transfer Facility (ICTF) Overpass project has received the 2016 Outstanding Major Project Award from the Florida Institute of Consulting Engineers (FICE). Working closely with the project owner, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), TYLI served as the Prime Consultant for the design phase of the project. The Eller Drive and ICTF Overpass project provides a direct connection from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport to Port Everglades, and includes a bridge overpass over the Florida East Coast Railway that allows the railroad to function without impacting vehicular traffic moving into and out of the port. TYLI joined FDOT in accepting the Outstanding Major Project Award at the 2016 FICE Transportation Conference on May 12, 2016. 

Within the project’s half-mile corridor, TYLI’s design included four bridges, 18 mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) walls, 240,000 cubic yards of embankment, two miles of drainage pipe, over 100 drainage structures, a mile of water main and force main replacements, concrete pavement roadways, and new railroad tracks in multiple, intricate phases of traffic control. Other improvements included ramp construction, roadway realignment, signals and interconnects, signing and pavement markings, lighting, landscaping, and irrigation systems.

“The Eller Drive and Intermodal Container Transfer Facility Overpass project not only improves public and commercial traffic flow between a major airport and one of the busiest seaports in the United States, it also transforms Eller Drive from a congested industrial roadway to a wider, safer, more accessible, and visually aesthetic travelway,” said James A. Moreno, P.E., TYLI Senior Vice President and South Region Director. “T.Y. Lin International is most pleased that this project has received the Florida Institute of Consulting Engineers’ 2016 Major Outstanding Project Award. We are also deeply honored to have assisted FDOT District 4 staff in the implementation of this critically importation transportation project.”

All elements of the Eller Drive and ICTF Overpass project were constructed in a narrow travelway used daily by cruise and airport traffic, cargo and fuel trucks, and local business customers, requiring TYLI to spearhead intensive coordination with numerous entities during the design phase of the project. This included adhering to FDOT’s commitment to Port Everglades that there would be two lanes in and two lanes out of the port at all times during construction. The project team also worked closely with FDOT’s Construction Engineering Inspection consultant during the construction phase to ensure that lane closures and detours were coordinated and impacts to port customers were minimized.

Rigorous coordination was also required with the multiple right-of-way owners in the project corridor, including FDOT, the City of Hollywood, the City of Dania Beach, Broward County, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, Florida Power & Light, and Port Everglades. Additionally, TYLI coordinated with project teams on other adjacent infrastructure projects for the airport and power company, modifying traffic control phases in order to maintain construction, manage project costs, limit traffic disruptions, and minimize impacts on the various projects in the area.

Sustainability and reducing maintenance costs were a priority for the project, especially considering the significant impact on the life of the newly constructed roadway made by heavy, cargo-bearing trucks entering and departing Port Everglades. Given advancements in concrete pavement technology and design that significantly increase material life expectancy, improve performance, and lower future maintenance expenses, the concrete pavement on this project included the most recent Design Standard changes, which increase the asphalt base to two inches thick.

Aesthetics were another important consideration, with the new travelway featuring MSE walls constructed with a decorative Ashlar Stone finish and ornamental landscaping incorporating Royal and Medjool Date Palms. The new bridge girders, barrier walls, and substructure were also coated with Class 5 finish throughout.

Completed on March 17, 2015, the Eller Drive and ICTF Overpass project provides major safety improvements for public and commercial traffic. The project replaced approaches and a bridge connecting the airport with westbound Interstate 595, creating a new alignment that improves line of sight on the bridge and increases shoulder widths. The line of sight for the eastbound Interstate 595 connection to Eller Drive has also been greatly improved, and is complemented with overpass bridges that eliminate the need for vehicular traffic to stop at a major intersection or at a crossing for the Florida East Coast railroad.