By Leo King
Jacksonville Transportation Examiner
A Florida DOT technical memo posted online today outlines five contracts under the Early Works program.
Among the documents is an Early Works overview map and some plan sheets including a maintenance site.
Requests for contract bids are expected to begin to be advertised on November 15, but all proposed schedule dates are tentative and subject to FRA approval.
In a project overview, Adrian Share and Brad Flom told Florida DOT’s Nazih Haddad “The Early Works Projects will allow the FDOT to start preliminary construction on a fast-track basis, putting Floridians to work, while also creating an unobstructed corridor in which FLHSR construction by the Design, Build, Operate, Maintain and Finance (DBOM&F) contractor can occur.”
The pair stated, “To facilitate the procurement of the Early Works Projects as quickly and efficiently as possible, the proposed work packages have been subdivided into specific contract groupings characterized by location, similar scope of work, status of project development, and permitting or [of] right-of-way (ROW) lead time(s).
Contract No. 1, the I-4 Median Preparation Project, will address and remove median obstructions within the proposed FLHSR corridor.
“The work will include I-4 widening in 12 locations, including inside and outside shoulder removal and reconstruction, mill and overlay of the entire travel way and pavement marking. Extensive traffic control will be required,” they wrote.
Other work will include overhead sign relocations and replacements, lighting relocations and replacements including roadway and high-mast lighting.
A noise wall will also go up, if required, “pending completion of noise analysis at the I-4 widening locations.”
All work will be performed within the existing right-of-way.
Environmental Resource Permits will be obtained by the contractor from the Florida DEP.
“Given the corridor-wide nature of this project, it is critical that the work be expedited to ensure completion prior to the start of the DBOM&F contract,” Share and Flom stated.
The second contract will be the SR 559 Interchange Project.
“The existing I-4 median width is currently insufficient to accommodate existing travel lanes and the proposed FLHSR corridor within the vicinity of the SR 559 Interchange. As a result, this project realigns and reconstructs approximately 1.7 miles of eastbound I-4 to the east to coincide with the Ultimate I-4 alignment. Consequently, the proposed modifications will necessitate the reconstruction of the existing interchange ramps, the SR 559 bridge and SR 559 itself, approximately 0.25 miles north and 0.65 miles south of I-4.
“Wetland impacts will be mitigated through existing mitigation credits with state agencies. The ultimate ROW has already been acquired. While the FLHSR corridor constraint at this specific location is isolated, the duration of the project necessitates that the work be expedited. The procurement vehicle will be an Adjusted Score Design-Build.
Contract No. 3 will be the CR 557 Interchange Project, and the existing I-4 median width is also insufficient to accommodate existing travel lanes and the proposed high-speed rail corridor within the vicinity of the CR 557 Interchange. This project realigns approximately 2.0 miles of eastbound and westbound travel lanes to accommodate HSR within the median.
The fourth contract will be preparing a maintenance facility site.
“The nature of FLHSR construction and the development of passenger revenue service will necessitate the construction of the Operations, Maintenance and Service Facility as a priority for the DBOM&F contractor,” according to Share and Flom.
“In line with the concept of fast tracking the program, this project aims to clear, demuck, backfill and surcharge settlement risk areas within the proposed 92-acre site leaving the area graded, sodded and ready for development. Also included in the work will be the relocation of an existing 24” force main that currently bisects the site. FDOT is in the process of securing the necessary ROW for this facility.
Contract No. 5 will be to Realign westbound I-4 between SR 417 and Osceola Parkway, which will include approximately 1.7 miles of westbound I-4 realignment from SR 417 to Osceola Parkway, allowing for HSR to be positioned on the I-4 centerline. To allow for this I-4 realignment, the existing eastbound US 192 to eastbound I-4 entrance ramp bridge over I-4 is to be reconstructed.
About one-half mile of this two-lane ramp is realigned to facilitate maintenance of traffic during bridge reconstruction
Useful website: www.floridahighspeedrail.org/early-works-projects/