Meeting challenges with innovation and efficiency.
During the design process, Raker Rhodes Engineering collaborated closely with Wells to overcome specific project challenges. One crucial aspect was determining acceptable strength and vibration span limits for the structure — keeping peak pedestrian traffic times in mind. During this exercise, the team collaborated to establish practical design limits, informing the overall framing layout of the walkway. By addressing these challenges early on, the project team designed and engineered a structurally sound pedestrian bridge plan, that could be manufactured off site and erected with user safety top of mind.
Prefabricated building solutions played a pivotal role in the successful completion of the project. The project required a fast timeline as the initial timeline had been established pre-pandemic and was already extremely delayed. To support safe and effective use of the new parking and tailgating lot, the bridge needed to be complete before the following football season, and construction during the fall was continually halted whenever there was a home game. By leveraging the advantages of offsite prefabrication and rapid onsite erection, the bridge successfully met the demanding schedule requirements. The efficiency of prefabricated construction ensured for timely completion.
Another challenge, since the walking surface is constantly exposed to weather, was the integration of a gutter system. To minimize the impact of visible piping on the structure, the drains were cast into the concrete, with a 4-inch PVC piece and a block out to enable recessing into the beam. The plumbing was cleverly run through the beams to emerge on the other side of the bridge, demonstrating a novel approach that the team had not encountered before. While horizontal openings are commonplace, a continuous opening from top to bottom is rare and innovative.