Hurricane Sally had a severe impact on Pensacola and the surrounding communities when it made landfall in the area on September 16th, 2020. Skanska employs approximately 250 full time residents in the Pensacola area who felt its devastating effects first-hand.
In the aftermath of the Hurricane, the community now faces a number of challenges, including the damage caused by Skanska’s equipment to the Pensacola Bay Bridge and surrounding properties.
We understand the disruption this has created for the community and it is our priority to repair and reopen the eastbound bridge, and continue to work with local property owners who may have been impacted by our equipment. To accomplish this, we remain committed to putting the full resources of our company forward to address these issues as quickly and safely as possible and reconnect the communities impacted by this event.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why did a number of Skanska USA’s barges break from their moorings during Hurricane Sally?
Skanska began preparing on the Saturday preceding the storm and continued those preparations through Tuesday. Equipment and barges were secured appropriately in accordance with the expected forecast.
On Monday, the storm forecast unexpectedly and dramatically shifted east. Storm surge and sea conditions deteriorated rapidly due to the storm’s sudden intensification, rendering it impossible from that point for our workers to safely make hurricane-level preparations. Ultimately, Sally made landfall in the early hours of Wednesday, September 16th, as a Category 2 hurricane with 105+ mile per hour sustained winds.
How has Skanska responded?
Immediately following the storm, Skanska deployed significant resources from within its organization, as well as contracted external subcontractors, equipment and consultants to expedite repairs to the Bridge, retrieve construction barges, process related insurance claims, and address public and stakeholder concerns.
How many barges have been recovered?
Due to Hurricane Sally, Skanska had 27 barges displaced. To date, Skanska has retrieved all of the 23 barges that ran aground. In addition, all four of the barges lodged under the Pensacola Bay Bridge after the hurricane subsided have also been retrieved. Each barge represented a unique and technically complex recovery operation that was managed carefully with our partners.
What is being done to repair the private properties damaged by the barges?
Skanska and our insurers are in communication and have met with all known affected parties who have reported property damage as a result of our barges and equipment. Also, our insurers have made initial assessments and are in the process of reviewing claims.
What is the timeline for the completion of Bridge repairs?
We continue to work closely and collaboratively with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), specialized engineers and all our stakeholders to expedite repairs of the damaged sections of the eastbound bridge. Please see additional information the schedule and repairs of the bridge here.
You may also see a video on the repair process here.
When will the eastbound bridge reopen?
Skanska is focused on working with FDOT as expeditiously as possible to repair and reopen the eastbound bridge. Please see additional information on the repairs of the bridge here.
Who do I contact if I believe that my property was damaged by Skanska’s equipment?
What is the size of the workforce working on the Pensacola Bay Bridge project?
The project employs over 250 employees and has had up to 380 craft and staff workers during the project’s construction peak.
Does the Pensacola Bay Bridge project employ local workers?
The greater Pensacola area is a special place for Skanska’s 250 staff and craft workers as most live and work here. In addition, Skanska engages 13 major subcontractors who employ approximately 180 employees. Combined, more than 400 individuals working on the Pensacola Bay Bridge are active contributors to the community and local economy each and every day.
Skanska’s approach to this project also includes significant local sourcing of labor and materials. For example, Skanska’s decision to cast the concrete bridge supports on-site resulted in all labor and materials being secured and purchased from the Pensacola area as opposed to outside the region.
What has been Skanska’s community involvement in Pensacola Bay?
From partnering with Sertoma for the last several years to bring the largest fireworks show on the Gulf Coast, to participating with FDOT and volunteering at the Waterfront Mission’s Pensacola Campus to provide and serve meals to the homeless, Skanska has embraced the Pensacola community as part of our family.
Last year, Skanska employees nationwide volunteered almost 11,000 hours for company-organized efforts, with almost 50 percent of that time going toward children and/or education. The Pensacola team’s ongoing sponsorship and volunteer efforts at the annual Florida Engineering Society event ‘Math Counts’ is a recent example and team favorite.
What other civil infrastructure projects has Skanska built in Florida?
Across Florida, Skanska has built some of the state’s most complex and impactful civil infrastructure projects, including the recently completed St. Petersburg Municipal Pier project in the City of St. Petersburg and 12,000-foot-long, two-lane Choctawhatchee Bay Bridge (US 331) in Walton County.
Over the last several years, Skanska also led the rebuilding and widening of Interstate 275 from east of State Road 60 to the Hillsborough River in downtown Tampa. Skanska also designed and constructed two replacement bridges of the Interstate Highway 10 after Hurricane Ivan barreled through the Gulf Coast, tearing out sections of the twin bridges between Escambia and Santa Rosa County.
Skanska is also the lead partner on the joint venture constructing the $2.3 billion I-4 Ultimate project in Central Florida, which is one of the largest and most comprehensive roadway projects in the U.S. today.
Who is Skanska?
Skanska is one of the largest construction and development companies in the U.S., serving a broad range of clients including those in transportation, power, industrial, water/wastewater, healthcare, education, sports, data centers, government, aviation and commercial. We were the first construction firm in the U.S. to become ISO 14000 certified, attesting to our dedication to building green and building safely. Last year, Skanska was named to Forbes 2019 List of Best Employers for Diversity, listed as the #6 ENR Top Green Contractor, and a proud, individual signatory to the Paris Climate Accord.