Last year, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) began working on a $3.2 million roadway project to make necessary improvements to the bridge over the Halifax River at State Road A1A and Dunlawton Avenue.
Dunlawton Bridge Project to End in May
Port Orange residents and visitors driving through the area have been impacted by the eastbound lane closure across the bridge since late January. The project is expected to be finished in May 2019.
“The scope of the work includes metallizing the steel spans of the bridge,” stated Jessica Ottaviano with FDOT. “After blast cleaning the steel, a molten aluminum is sprayed onto the steel. The span then receives two additional protective coatings.”
What’s Happening on the Bridge?
According to a flyer published by FDOT, the contractor, Intech Contracting, LLC, accesses the work from the top of the bridge. The plans call for the sidewalk over the bridge to remain open to pedestrians. The contractor is also maintaining a 65-foot clearance through at least half the channel for boaters. Boaters should use caution when traveling through the area.
“The cleaning and painting is a technically difficult process,” said Ottaviano. “The method is expected to provide the best protection and will last longer. The process requires the space within the containment to be as free of dust as possible, which is accomplished using a large vacuum pump and collection system to make sure the collected dust can be controlled and disposed of properly.”
Bridge Fire in February 2019
In February, there was a construction equipment fire that closed all lanes of traffic causing commuters even more of a delay. The fire was related to the vacuum hoses that the contractor was using. The fire was extinguished less than an hour later.
According to a published news report, Port Orange Fire Chief Ken Fustin told reporters that vacuum hoses that collect dust and particles sandblasted from the bottom of the bridge caught fire. “The hoses were all located on an elaborate scaffolding system that was under the bridge,” Fustin said.
Firefighters used a high-flying drone to gauge the fire’s temperature. Because ladders were not high enough, they had to lower personnel from the side of the bridge to battle the flames. They were able to get water on the fire on the bridge’s south side about 11:42 a.m., had it under control by 11:55 a.m., and completely out by 12:15 p.m.
Lane Closures and What to Expect
The construction has resumed. The continuous lane closure is necessary to accommodate the equipment for this work. The lane closure was removed for Bike Week and Spring Break, but was back in place the week of March 25.
Visit CFLroads.com to view anticipated lane closures and more information about this project.