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PHX Sky Train® Bridge Wins National Excellence in Structural Engineering Award

David Burrows, PE, the lead structural designer for the Bridge over Taxiway "R," accepts the NCSEA Excellence in Structural Engineering Award - Gannett Fleming
David Burrows, PE, the lead structural designer for the Bridge over Taxiway "R," accepts the NCSEA Excellence in Structural Engineering Award.
(Phoenix, Ariz.)

The PHX Sky Train® Bridge over Taxiway “R” was recognized with an Excellence in Structural Engineering Award from the National Council of Structural Engineers Associations (NCSEA).

The award was presented at the NCSEA Structural Engineering Summit in Las Vegas, Nevada. The NSEA awards highlight some of the best examples of structural engineering ingenuity throughout the world. Projects are judged on innovative design, engineering achievement, and creativity.

Located at the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, Arizona, the PHX Sky Train® went into service in April 2013, linking the Phoenix region’s 44th Street Valley Metro light rail station with the airport’s economy parking area and Terminal 4. Phase 1A, which opened in December 2014, added a .7-mile section of guideway and a single station at Terminal 3 with a walkway to Terminal 2, providing service to all the airport’s terminals by the automated train.

One of the biggest challenges encountered during Stage 1 was the crossing of Taxiway Romeo (Taxiway "R"), an active taxiway that handles planes as large as Boeing 747s. The taxiway crosses over Sky Harbor Boulevard, thereby putting planes, trains, and automobiles all within close proximity. Nowhere in the world had this been done before.

Through creative problem-solving by design and construction teams, the bridge and the overall project were delivered on-time and under budget. Ridership of the PHX Sky Train® has surpassed the original ridership estimates by more than 30 percent, serving an additional 3,000 customers a day.

For Stage 1, Gannett Fleming served as the lead design firm and performed the structural engineering. Hensel Phelps Construction Company was the general contractor and construction manager. Austin Bridge & Road served as the subcontractor for construction of the Taxiway “R” bridge.

PHX Sky Train® has previously been awarded:

  • 2015 RED Award (Real Estate and Development) Best Public Project
  • PHX Sky Train® Stage 1A, 2014 Best Project Award, presented by ENR Southwest magazine in its 2014 Best Projects award Airports/Transit Category
  • PHX Sky Train®, 2014, Engineering Excellence Honor Award, presented by the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC)
  • PHX Sky Train®, 2013, Clifford C. Sawyer Achievement Award, presented by ACEC Arizona, in the Engineering Excellence Awards
  • PHX Sky Train®, 2013, Judges Award, presented by the American Council of Engineering Companies ACEC Arizona, in the Engineering Excellence Awards
  • PHX Sky Train®, 2013, Outstanding Transit Innovation Award, presented by the Arizona Transit Association/Arizona Department of Transportation Excellence Awards
  • PHX Sky Train® System (Terminal 4 Escalator Replacement), 2012, Project of the Year Award, presented by Elevator World magazine, in Category 4, Escalator Modernization
  • PHX Sky Train®, 2012, Best of 2012 Awards − Best Transportation Project and Best Project in Safety category, presented by ENR Southwest magazine
  • PHX Sky Train®, 2010, Innovative Transportation Solutions Award, presented by the Advancing Women in Transportation (WTS), metropolitan Phoenix chapter.

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