West Thames Street Pedestrian Bridge in Manhattan. Courtesy WXY Architecture.
Weidlinger Transportation, which became a Thornton Tomasetti practice in September 2015, is serving as the prime consultant leading a team to design a new pedestrian bridge over West Street at West Thames Street. The new bridge will replace the Rector Street Pedestrian Bridge, which was constructed as an interim crossing of West Street after September 11, 2001.
Designed for Function and Aesthetics
The bridge design will provide pedestrians with an open and enjoyable crossing experience. The 12-foot-wide walkway accommodates steady, unimpeded flow during peak periods, while providing a sense of safety to those who choose to linger and enjoy the space and visual perspectives during less crowded hours. The placement of elevators, ramps, and stairs has been selected for ease of access while taking view corridors into consideration. There will be an elevator at each end of the bridge to provide access for disabled and elderly people.
A glass roof creates a lighter, more open appearance and provides an opportunity to use natural lighting during the day. The roof also addresses the challenges of clearing snow and cleaning, and snow-melt systems will be installed at landings and stairs where there is no roof.
Engineered to Endure
The bridge design includes stainless-steel cable net fencing and structural steel truss elements. The deck panels in the truss spans will be constructed of light-weight fiber reinforced polymer to reduce the weight of the spans. Foundations of up to six feet in depth will be supported with micropiles drilled into bedrock. To make the bridge more resilient during hurricanes and floods, the electrical and mechanical components of the elevators will be placed at elevated rooms under the stairs. In addition, connections for temporary flood posts and panels will be provided at the ground and adjacent walls.
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