Launch Slideshow

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Keeping bridgework in-house

Keeping bridgework in-house

  • Maintenance division crews replaced steel equalization pipes with Advanced Drainage Systems Inc.s 60-inch corrugated HDPE N-12 WT pipe.

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    Maintenance division crews replaced steel equalization pipes with Advanced Drainage Systems Inc.s 60-inch corrugated HDPE N-12 WT pipe.

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    Chris Camp and Scott Bell

    Maintenance division crews replaced steel equalization pipes with Advanced Drainage Systems Inc.’s 60-inch corrugated HDPE N-12 WT pipe.

  • Existing holes in deteriorated steel pipe.

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    Existing holes in deteriorated steel pipe.

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    Chris Camp and Scott Bell

    Existing holes in deteriorated steel pipe.

  • Removing steel equalization pipes and leaving concrete headwall to be reused.

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    Removing steel equalization pipes and leaving concrete headwall to be reused.

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    Chris Camp and Scott Bell

    Removing steel equalization pipes and leaving concrete headwall to be reused.

  • Old steel pipes completely removed, and prepping headwall for new HDPE pipe installation.

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    Old steel pipes completely removed, and prepping headwall for new HDPE pipe installation.

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    Chris Camp and Scott Bell

    Old steel pipes completely removed, and prepping headwall for new HDPE pipe installation.

  • The new 60-inch HDPE pipe in place.

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    The new 60-inch HDPE pipe in place.

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    Chris Camp and Scott Bell

    The new 60-inch HDPE pipe in place.

  • Installing 60-foot long, 60-inch diameter HDPE pipe with a long reach excavator.

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    Installing 60-foot long, 60-inch diameter HDPE pipe with a long reach excavator.

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    Chris Camp and Scott Bell

    Installing 60-foot long, 60-inch diameter HDPE pipe with a long reach excavator.

  • New 60-inch HDPE pipes grouted in place and backfilling in progress.

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    New 60-inch HDPE pipes grouted in place and backfilling in progress.

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    Chris Camp and Scott Bell

    New 60-inch HDPE pipes grouted in place and backfilling in progress.

  • HDPE pipes grouted in place with seams freshly wrapped for extra watertight integrity.

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    HDPE pipes grouted in place with seams freshly wrapped for extra watertight integrity.

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    Chris Camp and Scott Bell

    HDPE pipes grouted in place with seams freshly wrapped for extra watertight integrity.

  • Final sod and guardrail installation.

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    Final sod and guardrail installation.

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    Chris Camp and Scott Bell

    Final sod and guardrail installation.

Florida’s Cape Coral has 431 miles of canals, more than any other city in the world, crammed into 120 square miles. That translates to a lot of bridges, most of which were built when the city was founded in 1957.

By necessity, the city’s maintenance division has become quite adept at developing low-cost and effective maintenance and repair methods, mostly by doing as much as possible in-house with specialized equipment.

The most recent example is the Overhold Canal bridge reconstruction completed earlier this year. Four badly damaged and degraded 61-foot-long, 66-inch-diameter steel storm pipes were replaced with 60-inch HDPE pipe, a new material for the division. Though the project required planning and construction work employees don’t normally do, they saved the city of 155,000 residents at least $38,000 by not farming out the job.

“We considered having an outside contractor reline or slipline these pipes, but believed this was a project that our staff was skilled enough to handle effectively,” says Division Manager Chris Camp (ccamp@capecoral.net).

The existing structure’s pavement, guardrails, and storm pipes had to be completely removed; the only elements salvaged were the concrete stem walls and guardrails. To accomplish this, crews installed dikes on either side and pumped out the water to expose the canal bed. They then placed and compacted in layers 1,500 cubic yards of fill dirt, and 200 tons of stone to Florida DOT standards. Finally, they laid new pavement to match the road’s pre-construction elevation.

Preparing and coordinating the logistics was the biggest challenge.

“We gathered survey data, called in utility locates, informed neighbors of detours, and procured this unique pipe diameter,” Camp says. “If the circumstances and scope of work are within our capabilities, we’ll continue to do more in-house work.”