Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital Pedestrian Bridge
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Wolverine Building Group & Turner Construction
Hillsdale Fabricators supplied, fabricated and erected structural steel for the 193-foot-long-span pedestrian bridge linking the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital to the parking structure. Pre-project planning and logistics were key in Hillsdale’s project approach as the bridge was erected over a major thoroughfare in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan.
The challenging design features a main structure that morphs from a rectangle at the parking structure, to a tall spire shape creating a curved illusion as it attaches to the hospital. To ensure fabrication accuracy and schedule compliance, extensive use of 3-D modeling was employed. The bridge has more than 100 complex joints involving multi-pipe intersections. Hillsdale used sophisticated pipe cutting machinery for initial steps and then finished to the final profile using wrap around templates extracted from the 3-D model. The assembly of these joints required careful sequencing to facilitate bridge assembly with minimal interference as pieces were placed. To accommodate shipping and erection requirements, the bridge was broken into seven shop-assembled frames for transportation to Michigan.