Construction Equipment GLOBAL

Reconstructing the I-4

10 impressive road rebuilds

Reconstructing the I-4

From The Overseas Highway in Florida to Airstrip Road in Australia – here’s a list of ten of the most impressive road building projects ever.

1. Seoullo 7017, Seoul, South Korea
Taking inspiration from New York’s High Line Seoullo 2017 or Seoul Skygarden has taken a former inner-city highway and transformed it into a public ‘plant village’ – a 983-metre long park that features more than 50 plant families, including flowers, trees and shrubs. The space is connected with hotels, shops and restaurants via a network of newly built bridges and stairs. There are also plans for satellite gardens in other parts of Seoul, making it greener and optimizing the array of disused overpasses that crisscross the city.

The Big Dig, Boston
Big Dig, Boston, Massachusetts

2. Big Dig, Boston, Massachusetts
The Big Dig was the biggest infrastructure overhaul in Massachusetts’ history, and while it was plagued by cost overruns and scandal, in the eleven years since its completion the verdict is in. One of the country’s most congested highways, the John F. Fitzgerald Expressway, went underground, while massive road, bridge, and tunnel realignments resulted in not just the improved movement of people and goods but a boom in cultural, residential, and business development. The Big Dig also made room for the Greenway chain of parks, which have vastly improved life in central Boston.

Octovia Boulevard, San Francisco
Octavia Boulevard, San Francisco, California

3. Octavia Boulevard, San Francisco, California
Ripping out a freeway may not seem the best way to ease congestion or improve infrastructure, but following the 1989 Loma Preita earthquake San Francisco did just that, demolishing the massive Central Freeway, which ran through downtown and along the scenic bay. It not only opened up vast amounts of public space, including walking and biking paths, it also turned out to be a cheaper option than rebuilding. New transit routes replaced the double decker freeway, with the highlight being Octavia Boulevard, which distributes traffic smoothly and evenly while maintaining links to major San Francisco arteries.

4. Airstrip Road, Moora, Australia
As part of Australia’s Roads to Recovery program a 4,9 km section of the Airstrip Road in tiny wheat-farming Shire of Moora in Western Australia was bituminized in just two days, at a cost of around €300 000. Given the remoteness of the region and the trying conditions the speed of the rebuild was extraordinary. It’s fascinating to see the road pave its way through the landscape – the footage captured by a drone has been viewed by more than 17 million YouTube viewers.

5. Road 73, Stockholm, Sweden
Previously known as “the road of death” this accident-prone road between Stockholm and Nynäshamn was rebuilt and completed in 2011. Monotonous highways can be tiring for drivers and increase the risk of accidents. To avoid that, road, landscape and bridge architects were hired to design a visually stimulating road. The new route offers drivers beautiful, varied views over forests, lakes and fields, as well as 33 unique concrete bridges.

6. Great Kanto Highway, Naka, Japan
When a 9.0 magnitude earthquake hit Naka, Japan on March 11, 2011 it left a 150-metre crater along a stretch of the Great Kanto Highway. Construction crews from highway repair company NEXCO showed proof of the famous Japanese work ethic by repairing the damage in less than a week. They swept in on March 17th and by the 23rd the road was re-opened to traffic.

The overseas highway, Florida
Overseas Highway, Florida Keys

7. Overseas Highway, Florida Keys
The nearly 200km highway which connects the Florida Keys with the mainland was originally completed in 1912, and since then has gone through a number of transformations. When the 1935 Labor Day hurricane destroyed much of it the Florida East Coast Railway, unable to finance a rebuild, sold it to state of Florida, which not only rebuilt roads but also converted existing rail lines to roads. In the 1970s and 80s there were further modifications, resulting in one of the most scenic highways in the world.

8. A2, Maastricht, the Netherlands
For years, Maastricht’s A2 highway, an important link in the region, suffered from traffic jams. But in 2016 the situation changed when the city became the first in Europe to open a double decker highway tunnel. To pass through Maastricht, drivers now take the lower tubes; to drive into the city, they take the upper ones. A drive through the city used to take 30 minutes; through the Koning Willem-Alexander tunnel, it can be done in 5. On top of the tunnel, the city is building a park with greenery, cycle lanes and walkways.

9. Sanyuanqiao Bridge, Beijing, China
As the result of some very careful planning it took workers less than two days to complete the rebuild of the 1300-ton San Yuan Bridge, which serves more than 200 000 vehicles each day and connects 48 key routes in the city. Eleven different versions of the rebuild plan were drafted before work began at 11 pm on November 13, 2015. While the work was originally expected to take 24 hours unexpected deterioration of the central beams pushed that to 36. How did they do it? By using innovative, pre-fabricated beams which were slid into place with the help of mechanical pulleys.

South Road Superway, Adelaide
South Road Superway, Adelaide, Australia

10. South Road Superway, Adelaide, Australia
This project designed to connect north and south Adelaide with improved traffic efficiency and road safety didn’t happen overnight – but its innovations make it a standout. Most notably, using 4D modeling allowed engineers to visualize the construction process and test different options beforehand, thus optimizing the time plans and methods. The use of an elevated roadway, first in the region, also reduced impact on local businesses and landowners.

Reconstructing the I-4

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