Michael Baker International Partners with SCDOT to Complete the Harbor River Bridge, Providing a Safer and More Accessible Sea Island Parkway

Firm to Oversee Design and Provide Construction Inspection to Modernize Access Point in the Lowcountry of South Carolina

Location: Columbia, S.C.
Date: February 22, 2018

Michael Baker International, a global leader in engineering, planning and consulting services, was selected to assist the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) to manage the replacement of the existing Harbor River Bridge in Beaufort County, S.C. The firm was awarded an Engineering and Construction Engineering and Inspection (CE&I) contract to oversee the design-build contractor’s plan development, environmental permitting efforts, and the construction of the new fixed-span bridge that will improve safety and eliminate the need for a fulltime bridge operator.   
The current swing-span bridge along U.S. Route 21, also known as Sea Island Parkway, is more than 78 years old and provides a single point of access to Harbor Island, Hunting Island and Fripp Island. The new 3,353-foot-long fixed-span bridge will provide safety improvements for visitors traveling on the bridge as well as the waterway for the local shrimping industry and sailing communities passing underneath. The upgraded design will offer a 65-foot-high clearance over the Harbor River and extends travel lanes to 12 feet. The new structure will include 10-foot-wide shoulders in each direction.
“The Harbor River Bridge is a historic structure in the Beaufort community and provides a scenic highway to travelers, but it is increasingly outdated and restricted,” said John Walsh, P.E., Office Executive for Michael Baker International’s South Carolina operations. “The replacement of this bridge will improve safety and connectivity for residents and visitors and will provide greater access for roadway and waterway users. Our team’s design and construction support will help ensure the quality and commitments made in the development of the project are carried through in the completion of the project. It is a great honor for our team to partner with SCDOT in this infrastructure improvement for the client and surrounding community.”
The Michael Baker team will oversee the design of the new bridge and roadway approaches to ensure that the client receives a project that meets SCDOT Design Standards, the Request for Proposal contract requirements and the design-build team’s commitments. The team’s scope also includes overseeing the right of way purchase, environmental permitting, utility relocations and the demolition of the existing bridge. 
 The Michael Baker CE&I team will provide construction management and administration, quality control of construction materials and processes, safety monitoring, and environmental compliance evaluations to ensure that the project is constructed to SCDOT standards and follows all environmental permit commitments. 
Traffic will continue to flow on the current bridge until construction of the new bridge is complete. After demolition, the contractor has proposed the use of the existing bridge truss to create an offshore reef which will serve as a new environmental habitat. 
Construction of the new Harbor River Bridge is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2018 and be completed by November 2021.
About Michael Baker International
Michael Baker International is a leading provider of engineering and consulting services, including design, planning, architectural, environmental, construction and program management.  The company provides its comprehensive range of services and solutions to support U.S. federal, state, and municipal governments, foreign allied governments, and a wide range of commercial clients.  Michael Baker’s more than 3,000 employees across nearly 100 locations are committed to a culture of innovation, collaboration and technological advancement to help solve challenges for clients and communities throughout the country. To learn more, visit www.mbakerintl.com.


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