It would not be an exaggeration to say that the State Road (SR) 826/SR 836 Interchange Reconstruction Project, is the “mother of all projects” for Miami-Dade County. Once completed, by fall 2015, this $560 million project will feature 45 new bridges. In order to construct these bridges, a very special tool has been employed.
The 460-foot, 475-ton launching gantry (horizontal crane) used to erect bridge segments for the SR 826/SR 836 Interchange Reconstruction Project is beginning to take shape once again. The gantry, disassembled and relocated after completing the first segmental bridge, is now being re-assembled to tackle another bridge.
The gantry erected 183 individual concrete segments to construct the new 1,785 foot-long segmental bridge that connects eastbound SR 836 drivers to northbound SR 826. This bridge was opened to traffic in mid-January 2013. Crews constructed a smaller 1,100 foot-long segmental bridge using conventional cranes that is expected to open July 2013 and will connect westbound SR 836 drivers to southbound SR 826.
Once the gantry is completely assembled in March 2013, it will be used to construct the longest segmental bridge of the project, the 2,540 foot-long bridge connecting southbound SR 826 to eastbound SR 836. The gantry was designed and built in Italy and originally shipped to the project site in 32 containers. The self-launching gantry will move itself from pier to pier at a speed of 0.8 feet per minute to erect the 253 segments necessary to complete the third segmental bridge. The segments, which are cast locally in a yard in Hialeah, Florida, are 46 feet wide, range in length from eight to ten feet, and weigh as much as 87 tons. Upon the completion of the third segmental bridge, the gantry will be repositioned to erect the final 2,310 foot-long bridge connecting northbound SR 826 drivers to westbound SR 836.
In all, the project will require approximately 870 segments to complete the four segmental bridges. Work on the segmental bridges will mainly be done in the evenings and will require closure of the roadways underneath as the segments are being erected. To view a time-lapse video of the gantry at work, visit www.826-836.com.