Crossing A Freeway

by Rita Robison, Assoc. Ed.; Civil Engineering—ASCE, New York, NY 10017,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1987, Vol. 57, Issue 3, Pg. 60-61

Document Type: Feature article


The Washington State Convention and Trade Center in Seattle is being constructed on air rights spanning Interstate-5, adjacent to the seven acre Freeway Park that also spans the highway. The $97 million Center will enclose 1.1 million square feet of exhibition halls, meeting rooms, retail shops and parking. Nine steel trusses, 40 ft deep and some weighing over 200 tons, span the freeway and enclose three levels of parking. Work was done at night in order to keep the freeway open to traffic. All lateral loads are taken by an interior box system of 16 braced frames that are supported by the heaviest trusses. For ductility, the beams are moment connected to the columns; for temperature contraction and expansion, there are bridge-like bearings at the east side of the freeway. The steel was fabricated in Taiwan and received in 12 batches coordinated with the erection schedule. The engineers, Skilling Ward Magnusson Barkshire, Inc. of Seattle, showed every one of the 2,400 connection details on the sealed drawings.

Subject Headings: Highways and roads

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