Elegant Interchange for Tight Urban Spaces

by Vijay Chandra, Vice Pres.; Parsons Brinckerhoff Quade & Douglas, One Penn Plaza, 250 W. 34th St., New York, NY 10119,
George Szecsei, Design Mgr. and Struct. Engr.; Parsons Brinckerhoff Quade & Douglas, One Penn Plaza, 250 W. 34th St., New York, NY 10119,


Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1988, Vol. 58, Issue 9, Pg. 72-74


Document Type: Feature article

Abstract: The Seventh St. underpass, which opened in May of 1987, is a multilevel uban interchange crossing I-10 in the center of Phoenix, Arizona. With little right of way available, the interchange had to fit into a highly constricted space while accommodating traffic in four directions. The resulting unusual shape—an hour glass from above, presented particularly interesting technical challenges while at the same time cutting 50 to 60% off of the time and cost of construction. By designing the structure as an on-bridge interchange, a normally four level interchange was reduced to two levels. The complicated structure includes four on and off ramps, which are also built on structure and resat on the main span. To achieve this shape and accommodate the imposition of highly skewed ramp structure loads on the main structure, a detailed state of the art, finite element procedure was used to simulate its true behavior during various phases of construction.

Subject Headings: Construction | Design | Finite element method | Highways and roads | Interchanges | Ramps | Urban areas

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