DPR Construction Bridges a Gap and Drives Chiller Ingenuity at Baptist Health’s Jacksonville Campus

This article is included in the Great Things: Issue 3 edition of the DPR Newsletter.

Prefabricated bridge being placed onto the columns for its final placement. Courtesy of Scott Gibbs

Editor's Note: This post was updated on Sept. 8, 2020.

Even as the pandemic requires constant vigilance from site teams, DPR Construction’s project team in Jacksonville continues to raise industry standards with a bridge placement at Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville and Wolfson Children’s Hospital. At 110 tons and 85 feet long, the prefabricated pedestrian bridge was successfully lifted and installed by the project team. The bridge will provide visitors, patients,and team members with access to garage parking and a safer path to cross the street and enter the future Baptist Jacksonville Entry Building/Wolfson Children’s Critical Care Tower.

Prefabricated bridge being transported to the location of its placement. Courtesy of Beard Transport

Directed by remote control, the project team utilized a self-propelled modular transporter (SPMT) to move the bridge down the street. “The bridge along with the overall hospital project is one of the largest self-perform concrete projects in the region,” said Matt Bishop, DPR project executive.

First lift of the bridge from its build site onto the equipment used to transport it to its final location. Courtesy of Scott Gibbs
Prefabricated bridge being lifted to its final location. Courtesy of Beard Transport

Following the bridge placement, the project team secured an additional milestone with the arrival and installation of a 1,800-ton chiller.

Due to the existing size of the building’s central energy plant (CEP), the chiller was disassembled in a day inside a climate-controlled warehouse space near the project site.“We factored in several key elements during the chiller disassembly phase to ensure for a seamless reassembly process,” said Scott Gibbs, DPR superintendent.

The project team followed strategic technical steps including:

  • Cleaning of the refrigerant lines in the warehouse to eliminate a day of purging
  • Advanced preparation of refrigerant line fittings
  • Storing refrigerant in the vacuum pump until recharging the system onsite
  • Sealing all parts of the assembly to prevent Trane from testing fluids in the system
  • Prefabrication of all of the linkages for the compressors
  • Preassembly of orifices and gaskets on economizer base and refrigerant oil separator
  • Pre-alignment of the motor on the compressor
  • Prefabrication of the rupture disk and flex

With the chiller components separated and ready for mobilization, the team along with project trade partners built a custom compressor roller for use at the project site to slide the chiller parts inside the narrow space of the existing CEP of the building. “Based on the BIM model, we were able to determine travel paths and swing radius specs to transport the chiller elements on the specialized transport dollies,” said Gibbs.

The team successfully transported, reassembled, and installed the chiller inside of the project space in under 48 hours.

The project is slated to be complete by the end of 2021.