Hurricane Sally had a severe impact on Pensacola and the surrounding communities when it made landfall in the area on September 16, 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 faced a number of challenges, including the damage caused by Skanska’s equipment to the Pensacola Bay Bridge and surrounding properties. We understood the disruption this created for the community and it was our priority to repair and reopen the eastbound bridge and to work with local property owners who may have been impacted by our equipment.
Skanska put forth the full resources of the company to address these issues as quickly and safely as possible and to reconnect the communities impacted by this event. The Pensacola Bay Bridge was reopened on May 28, 2021.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why did several Skanska USA’s barges break from their moorings during Hurricane Sally?
Equipment and barges were secured appropriately in accordance with the expected forecast. Skanska began preparing on the Saturday preceding the storm and continued those preparations through Tuesday.
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. The force of the storm caused the 27 secured barges to break from their moorings.
How did Skanska respond in the aftermath of the Hurricane?
Immediately following the storm, Skanska deployed significant resources from within our organization, and contracted with external subcontractors, equipment and consultants to expedite repairs to the Bridge, retrieve all 27 displaced construction barges, process related insurance claims, and address public and stakeholder concerns.
What is the size of the workforce working on the Pensacola Bay Bridge project?
The project employs approximately 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 approximately 13 major subcontractors who employ approximately 180 employees. Combined, the more than 430 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 the Pensacola Bay area?
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. The Pensacola team has also sponsored and volunteered at the annual Florida Engineering Society event ‘Math Counts’ which is a team favorite. In addition, Skanska has sponsored and supported various other community events and causes in the Pensacola and Gulf Breeze area.
In the last five years alone, Skanska employees nationwide have given more than 32,000 hours toward improving our communities through company-organized and -supported efforts, with approximately 50 percent of our corporate giving related to Children & Education.
What other 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 the 12,000-foot-long, two-lane Choctawhatchee Bay Bridge (US 331) in Walton County. Skanska also led the rebuilding and widening of Interstate 275 from east of State Road 60 to the Hillsborough River in downtown Tampa.
After Hurricane Ivan barreled through the Gulf Coast, tearing out sections of the twin bridges between Escambia and Santa Rosa County, Skanska designed and constructed two replacement bridges of the Interstate Highway 10.
Skanska is currently 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. Skanska is also reconstruction of I-4 at S.R. 557 interchange in Central Florida and the Big Bend Road at Interstate 75 (I-75) interchange in the Tampa area.