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Royal Park Bridge

Amid palm trees, modern high-rises, and white sands, the Royal Park Bridge connects Palm Beach and West Palm Beach. There was trouble in paradise in 1998, when engineers inspecting the 60-year-old bridge found that marine wood borers had eaten into the submerged support pilings.

Immediate action was taken, closing half the driving lines, while work began on a solution. Synterra Ltd / H2L2, in its role as sub-consultant to E.C. Driver, in association with Kimley-Horn, provided design services for the bridge Project Development and Environment (PD&E) Study. Residents and elected officials in the two affected Florida towns were concerned about the impact of possible replacement structures, which led to an active and intense public-participation process. As part of this process, Synterra Ltd / H2L2 assisted in the development of replacement structure types and alignments, ranging from tunnels to a high span bridge. Specifically, the task was to study the aesthetic impact on both sides of the bridge, helping the public to visualize and evaluate the alternatives. Careful analysis of the available options eventually dictated a low-rise bridge replacement that nearly doubled the height of the existing bridge.

Synterra Ltd / H2L2’s scope of work included developing and detailing the tender house, ornamental handrails, surface treatments, and abutment and plaza treatments for the PD&E submission. The new bridge has become a signature of the Intracoastal Waterway, appearing in countless tourist snapshots and photographic prints as a reminder of Florida’s Gold Coast and its tropical treats. The bridge’s owner is the Florida State Department of Transportation.

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