Building the new Charles F. Sammons Cancer Center on the Baylor University Medical Center campus would require a connector to the newly renovated Baylor Cancer Hospital. The architect decided to make the connection with a sky bridge linking four buildings, including the Sammons Cancer Center and the Cancer Hospital. This bridge, the Collins Family Bridge of Hope, provides passage for both pedestrians and major utilities.
A sweeping arc over Worth Street was selected for the bridge layout. The design connected four buildings in a smooth, continuous path with excellent sight lines for visitors. The north end of the bridge wraps over an underground garage and is supported by the Cancer Hospital’s south plaza. The bridge’s curved layout did not mesh with the existing south plaza’s rectilinear grid, having virtually no alignment with the existing structure.
With the garage being an integral part of daily operations, the owner set high expectations for the reinforcement project: the garage had to remain open with minimal impact on daily operations and reinforcement could not cause a permanent loss of parking spaces, a loss of headroom, or rerouting of mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems.
A synergistic combination of three methods with proven track records was selected. Multiple beams were bundled together with new distribution ribs, section enlargement was used to boost the stiffness and capacity of the bundled beams, and fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) was used to boost the shear and flexural capacity of members not requiring additional stiffness.
The story of this project is one of innovation and collaboration. Innovative ideas were allowed to surface and mature. Out of this setting, the innovative idea to combine three unique solutions developed. Each leg of the solution was pushed beyond the limits of traditional reinforcement projects to create a synergistic and innovative solution.
*From the ICRI website.
About RLG Consulting Engineers
Founded in 1953 by Raymond L. Goodson, Jr., RLG Consulting Engineers specializes in civil, structural, surveying and forensic engineering. For more than 65 years, RLG has been recognized as one of the top engineering firms in Texas for their ability to attract and retain a talented, experienced team. Known for thorough and meticulous work, RLG has designed major projects in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and throughout the country. The staff of more than 80 employees, includes professional engineers holding licenses in 47 states, graduate engineers and registered professional land surveyors.