The City of Neptune Beach, FL faced a deteriorating bridge and an expensive estimate for a rebuild.
The ends of “Kings Bridge” that anchor the bridge to the shore featured steel sheets that over time had corroded.
The High Cost of Steel
The city’s initial plan was to rebuild the bridge ends with PZ 27 steel, a strong but expensive material to procure and install.
Adding to the estimated project cost, the plan called for additional steel to account for the same type of inevitable corrosion afflicting the existing walls.
Composite Wall: A Corrosion-Free, Less Expensive Option
A trusted ESP contractor traveled to Neptune Beach to offer a different approach. A composite wall was recommended because it would not corrode, requires zero maintenance, and is far more affordable.
Steel vs. Composite
Though variable soils were found on site, there was no issue driving ESP 30+ foot composite sheets into the ground where the bridge is located.
Additionally, the composite sheets not only retained and protected the foundation soils of the bridge abutment, but also supported live loads imposed by the bridge abutment.
Composite Sheet Piling Does Not Corrode
The Neptune Beach town was thrilled to learn that a composite sheet piling solution would require zero maintenance costs over time because ESP’s materials are impervious to corrosion.
Steel, on the other hand, begins to corrode in the water and elements immediately after installation. This necessitates using additional materials up front to compensate, which only adds to initial project costs. It also guarantees costly improvements over time that could otherwise be entirely avoided with a composite wall solution.
Composite Sheet Piling is Less Expensive Than Steel
Besides lasting longer in marine conditions than steel, composite sheet piling is less expensive to produce.
Composite sheets do not require all of the infrastructure, materials, and overhead costs that the production of steel does, so is less expensive to manufacture.
Additionally, composite sheets are also lighter than steel, and can accordingly be shipped worldwide in fewer containers as lighter loads. This further reduces the overall cost of a composite solution compared to steel.
Using relatively light composite materials also means lower installation costs. Contractors are able to utilize lighter equipment for composite seawall installations, thereby increasing the speed of the project and further reducing costs.
Together, all of these cost-saving benefits combine to offer dramatic reductions in project costs.
ESP Composite Offers Rapid, Custom Solutions
Another major benefit to using composite sheets is the short lead times and the availability of special length sheets. Whereas steel manufacturers have specific rolling times that typically take place only a couple times a year, ESP can deliver custom length sheets in only 2-4 weeks if necessary.
Saving Time and Money in Neptune Beach, FL
The City of Neptune Beach ultimately decided to go with the ESP composite sheet proposal instead of moving forward with steel.
As a result, ESP was able to help the city save 40% (nearly half!) on the cost of the project and complete it far sooner than had been projected for the steel walls.