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Winnipeg Richardson International Airport Elevated Roadway – Departures Level Bridge


The Winnipeg Richardson International Airport is Manitoba’s gateway to the world, and on October 30, 2011 the Winnipeg Airports Authority (WAA) officially welcomed travelers through Canada’s newest and greenest airport.
The approximately $585 Million Airport Site Redevelopment program was completed under three major projects, the Terminal Building and Parkade, the Groundside Site Development (GSD) and the Airside Site Development. A fully integrated and versatile groundside system was required to connect the airport to its customers. As part of an attractive, modern and efficient facility, the new roadway system includes the Elevated Roadway / Departures Level Bridge, which provides direct curbside access to the Departures Level on the second floor of the Terminal Building, and direct curbside access to the Arrivals Level on the main level of the Terminal Building.
Challenges of the GSD and Departures Level Bridge included the roadway system, geometry, structural design, and architectural requirements. A minimum 5.0 m vertical clearance was required between the Arrivals Level inner curb and structure soffit while respecting the terminal frontage interface relationships. This resulted in a 1.0 m maximum available structural depth, which is a very thin cross section for a structure of this size.
The unique cast-in-place bridge structure has main beams running along the edge between columns, and laterally post-tensioned transverse beams to provide a shallow structure depth between the main beams. The structure utilized the post-tensioned concrete beams, galvanized reinforcing, and a high performance concrete overlay to increase durability and reduce maintenance. The structure was very heavily reinforced to minimize dimensions, and three-dimensional modelling was utilized to ensure that the reinforcing, post-tensioning, and various connection anchors could in fact be placed in the field.
The Elevated Roadway was a complicated structure to design due the site constraints and architectural requirements. The sheer size of the bridge added significantly to its complexity – at a total length of 506m, this is the second longest bridge in Manitoba, and with a width of 20m it is significantly wider than typical highway bridges. The requirements for post-tensioning in the bridge added further to the complexity, and the tight radii of the Up and Down Ramps created sharply curved structures requiring special considerations in design due to the significant torsion on the structures, and the multi-directional expansion and contraction of these curved structures.
The new Terminal Building is designed to be a very open structure, with minimally obstructed site lines throughout. This open concept allows for a highly functional facility where visitors can actually see where they are going next. The Elevated Roadway and Departures Level Bridge design compliments this concept. The resulting design has a high vertical clearance, allows natural daylight in during the day, is well lit at night, and does not have the appearance of a bridge or freeway.

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
Pochanart, A.
Smith, T.
Worms, T.
Bromley, A.