Mammoet has successfully completed the transport and lift of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport’s newest expansion, an elevated pedestrian walkway for the future international arrivals’ facility.
Part of the airport’s $968 million expansion, the new bridge is only the second walkway in the world with suitable clearance for a Boeing 747 to taxi beneath.
Despite the various challenges of working at an active airport, Mammoet’s in-house expertise enabled them to select a suitable installation method for the installation of the 1,472-ton walkway. Using the accelerated bridge construction (ABC) method with their specialized equipment, Mammoet transported and lifted the prefabricated bridge into place. This allowed for an exponentially faster turnaround time, whereas traditional construction methods would have caused significant disruptions to the airport over a prolonged period of time. The entire operation was completed over two nights while flight traffic was at its lowest to ensure minimal disruption to the airport’s schedule.
The walkway was transported using a total of 56 axle lines of SPMTs in a four-point configuration, with one set of SPMTs at each corner. Mammoet’s transport team taxied the load a total of three miles down the center runway while shouldering runways remained open for incoming and outgoing planes. The total transport time from the assembly area to the final destination between accepting V-piers was just under three hours.
Once in position under the piers, erection crews took over using four 900-ton steel frames that utilized a strand jack system. This was the first time these frames from the Netherlands had been used in the United States. With approximately 1.5 inches of tolerance for a precise fit, the bridge span was precisely hoisted into its final position, 22m from the ground, before being welded into place.
After nearly eight years of planning, design, and construction, the installation has created, at 900 feet long, the world’s longest pedestrian bridge span over an active airport taxi lane. The international arrivals facility is expected to open later in 2020 and alongside other improvements will help double the airport’s international passenger capacity to 2,600 per hour.