Sandwich Plate System, SPSⓉ, was specified for the bridge deck panels of the new self-supporting pedestrian footbridge connecting The Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact to other existing research buildings on the University of Oregon campus, by providing unimpeded pedestrian access across the busy Franklin Road.  The construction schedule was ambitious and benefited from advanced coordination of the design with the contractor, as well as prefabricated components available on-site to help meet the programme.

The seemingly simple bridge has two splayed arches that spring from a common support point on either side of the road. These were built first followed by the walkway enclosure, which includes the SPS deck and is supported by tension cables.

Building the two support points first allowed vehicular traffic to remain in operation for the longest possible time, and restricting lanes as little as possible while construction on the pedestrian bridge took place.

Structural engineers Thornton Tomasetti  ‘designed a lightweight, self-supporting pedestrian bridge… The all-steel, long-span structure resists seismic, wind and traffic forces with a symmetrical arched butterfly design. Tension cables along each side carry loads to a common point on either side of the road, and support SPS-panel decking and a glass enclosure.


© Thornton Tomasetti/Digital Works Production

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