Mon, 25 Sep 2023

Significant Jacksonville-area Infrastructure Project Features Barge-based Construction in a Marine Environment

WEST PALM BEACH, FL / ACCESSWIRE / October 3, 2022 / National planning, geospatial, and engineering design firm WGI, Inc. (WGI) is pleased to announce it is part of and lead designer for the project pursuit team awarded the $600M First Coast Expressway (SR 23) from east of CR 16A Spur to East of CR 209 contract by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) -- commonly known as the Shands Bridge project. The contract for FDOT's District 2, centering on the Jacksonville, Florida region, is a Design-Build contract with WGI leading all design-related services and construction administration tasks for the design team. Simultaneously, teaming partners Johnson Brothers Corporation and American Bridge will manage the overall project and construct the new extension of the First Coast Expressway, including the new Shands Bridge.

This project extends SR 23 (the First Coast Expressway), a limited-access toll facility, from east of CR 16A Spur to east of CR 209 within St. Johns and Clay Counties. It constructs a new roadway with a four-lane divided roadway and new partial cloverleaf interchange at CR 16A Spur. The project's centerpiece is a new four-lane bridge over the St. Johns River with a bicycle/pedestrian path and scenic overlooks, replacing the old Shands Bridge.

In awarding this Design-Build contract, FDOT selected the most-qualified engineering and construction team, evaluating a combination of technical excellence and price for this uniquely challenging construction process. In its selection, FDOT determined that the WGI, Johnson Brothers Corporation, and American Bridge team are best suited to take on the project. The team received the highest technical score supported by innovative cost and time savings proposed during the procurement process.

Mike Madison, PE, WGI's Alterative Delivery Manager, led the firm's pursuit -- sharing his excitement. 'The combined experience of our team and our innovative, environmentally sustainable project approach were differentiating factors in being selected for the Shands Bridge project,' he said. 'Our pursuit team is thrilled with the project award, and we look forward to delivering a successful project. Our innovation eliminated over 1,000 in-water piles, saving tens of millions of dollars and reducing the project's construction duration.'

Construction of the new Shands Bridge will utilize barges for staging construction materials and a host of construction activities in the St. Johns River - Florida's longest river. Enhanced environmental-protection measures and water-quality monitoring stations will be employed to protect its quality. WGI brings design, monitoring, and engineering experience to safeguard the river's water quality from its recent successfully completed Wekiva Parkway Segment 6 project, which featured construction of a four-lane divided tollway over the Wekiva River, a Federally designated Wild and Scenic River.

The project is the largest Design-Build win for WGI. Walter Kloss, PE, Vice President responsible for Transportation Alternative Delivery at WGI, explained, 'The Shands Bridge win is a very special win for WGI. For years we've expanded our Design-Build practice, and we are very proud to be impacting our nation's infrastructure. Together with our partners from Johnson Brothers Corporation and American Bridge, we look forward to bringing the new Shands Bridge to fruition for motorists to enjoy for decades to come.'


As a multidisciplinary solutions-providing consulting firm, WGI has 25 offices in eight states, serving an active client base in over 40 states, specializing in the following disciplines: geospatial and land surveying, subsurface utility engineering, land development/municipal engineering, mobility planning, traffic and transportation engineering, parking solutions, restoration and structural engineering, landscape architecture, environmental sciences and water resources, architecture, land planning, and MEP engineering. In 2022, ENR ranked WGI #167 - up eight places -- on its list of the Top 500 Design Firms in the United States. ENR Magazine also named WGI its 2021 Design Firm of the Year in the southeast United States. For more information, please visit

WGI Company Contacts:

Eliza Partington/Director, Alternative Delivery

Will Schnier /Chief Marketing Officer

Media Contact:

Kelly Owens
Alchemy Communications Group
561.222.4958 (mobile)
561.935.9953 x101 (office)


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