SR 5 / US 1 Design-Build from Kings Highway to Oslo Road
E Sciences provided ecological and environmental support to the Design–Build Team for this approximately 3-mile long US 1 roadway-widening project in Indian River County. The project actually starts just south of the Indian River County line in St. Lucie County. However, because the majority of the project is located in Indian River County, the South Florida Water Management District agreed permitting for the entire project should be handled solely by the SJRWMD. The unique ecological considerations of the project included an innovative drainage design by the design firm that added a stormwater pond at the southern section of the project that would discharge into a conservation area.
E Sciences worked closely with the design firm to demonstrate to the County (who owned the conservation area) and SJRWMD that the discharge volume would not increase and the water quality would be improved because stormwater that had historically discharged to the conservation area untreated would now be treated. This allowed the design firm to decrease the amount of stormwater being discharged to the northern part of the site, which provided a substantial savings to FDOT due to 1) less soil had to be excavated at an intersection with documented contamination, and 2) the northern pond size could be decreased, which also decreased wetland impacts. In addition, as a result of E Sciences’ wetland delineation, the amount of jurisdictional wetlands claimed at the pond site and at roadside swales was decreased by several acres from the estimate in the PD&E Study.
E Sciences was also responsible for listed species evaluations and coordination. Lakela’s Mint (Dicerandra immaculata) was noted as occurring near, but not within the FDOT right-of-way in the PD&E; however, during the pre-construction survey, E Sciences discovered the mint had migrated into the right-of-way. Staff also discovered a gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) burrow in the right-of-way. By working closely with the Design-Build Team (design engineers, geotechnical engineers, and contractors), E Sciences and the Team were able to work around the listed species to avoid any impacts.
E Sciences coordinated early in the process with the SJRWMD regarding the permitting schedule, and was able to obtain a Notice General Permit that allowed work at the bridge replacement portion of the project, which is all in uplands, to begin early, while the design plans and permits are being finalized.