A new Back River Bridge connecting Savannah, Georgia, and Jasper County, South Carolina, via US 17 will replace the 60-year-old bridge that currently carries an estimated 19,000 motorists daily between Savannah and the Hilton Head area. The existing bridge has been found to be deficient, and Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) projections of up to 35,000 vehicles making future daily trip spurred the need for the bridge replacement project.
GDOT called upon Qk4 to provide the concept report, right-of-way plans, and final construction documents for the $14.4 million structure scheduled for opening in January 2016. The project provides for a 3,290-foot-long, 47-span, pre-stressed concrete bridge; and a reconfigured interchange with Hutchinson Island. With its two 12-foot-long travel lanes and 8-foot-wide shoulders, the roadway width will be increased from 32.5 feet on the existing bridge to 43.25 feet on the new bridge.
The project is located in an environmentally sensitive area and impacts 1.65 acres of tidal wetlands and 0.80 acre of salt marsh. The design took into account tidal influences in the hydraulic modeling calculations. In addition, a multi-trophic vegetation plan was included due to the project’s location in Georgia’s special Coastal Zone.
The permitting process for the new bridge involved Departments of Transportation and environmental agencies from both states, as well as the Charleston District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
For more information contact Mr. Andrew Ballerstedt, PE, at 1-800-928-2222.