Jennifer Stutts told local Historic City News reporters that the rehabilitation project of St. Augustine’s historic Bridge of Lions has received the “Grand Conceptor Award” from the Florida Institute of Consulting Engineers.
During a joint conference with members of the Florida Engineering Society held in Miami last month, the facilities and infrastructure-consulting firm Reynolds, Smith and Hills was recognized for its lead role in the restoration project, which was judged against eight other grand award winners in different categories.
The award is the highest honor given annually to the top engineering project in Florida.
“We’re honored to be part of such an important project, both to the community and engineering profession,” RS&H Senior Vice President and Director of Transportation David Sweeney told Historic City News. “It was a once-in-a-life-time opportunity, and the innovative solutions developed will be of tremendous value to future historic rehabilitation projects across the United States.”
The team developed two key innovations to preserve the 1927 bridge, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
First, a new interior steel framework shifted most of the load from the bridge’s original steel arched girders to transverse crossbeams at each pier support, allowing the girders to be removed, rehabilitated and returned to the bridge.
The team also developed an innovative foundation system, which added drilled supporting shafts to strengthen the bridge’s iconic bascule piers and towers.
To watch the video of the rehabilitation project shown at the awards ceremony, visit the Award winning Bridge of Lions project on YouTube.