SW Second Avenue Bascule Bridge - Miami, Fla.
Kiewit completed the $47 million SW Second Avenue Bascule Bridge while maintaining cargo and recreational traffic on the river. Opened to traffic in June 2003, the four-lane bridge has a total span of 300 feet and represents the third longest drawbridge in the U.S., and the fourth longest in the world. The bridge eases traffic in downtown Miami and widened the channel for increased ship maneuverability in the Miami River. The bridge’s functionality is critical to the more than $1 billion of commerce transported on the river each year.
Completed 20 days ahead of schedule, the 24-month-long project involved placing two 3,000-ton bascule leaves, two cofferdams, approximately 17,000 cubic yards of concrete, and 300 125-foot-long concrete piles. The old bridge was shipped to Biscayne Bay and sunk to be used as an artificial reef. Crews had to coordinate bridge closures and marine traffic to use time effectively and remain on schedule.
Benefits to motorists and the community include a faster recycle time of approximately 2.5 minutes for the bridge to open and close, and fewer closings due to higher clearance, which alleviates major traffic jams for the more than 33,000 cars that travel across the bridge each day.