How are Skywalk Bridges Built?
A skywalk bridge may also be known as a skyway or skybridge. It is a connection between two or more buildings which provides a pedestrian walkway in urban areas. A conditioned or unconditioned skywalk can be open, enclosed, encased in glass, for the public, or used strictly for business purposes. Depending on the functionality, they are mostly used as a way to reduce traffic congestion and protect pedestrians from weather, vehicle noise, and pollution.
Where to Find Skywalk Bridges
Skywalk bridges are usually connected just above the first few floors of a building to give room for large trucks to pass underneath, but sometimes they can be much higher. The highest skywalk bridge in the world is placed between the buildings of the Raffles City Chongqing in Chongqing, China. The world’s largest continuous skywalk bridge system is the Minneapolis Skyway System which spans 11 miles. Skywalk Bridges are usually privately owned since they tend to connect private buildings, but can also be publicly owned by the state or federal government.
Since skywalk bridges are connected to buildings, they are designed by engineers and architects. The design of a these bridges depends upon the function, terrain, the material used (steel or concrete), and funds available. For covered or enclosed skywalks, there are additional considerations or constraints and architectural building code regulations to comply. When the bridge is connecting a conditioned space with an unconditioned space, there is some form of climate control. Buildings shift and move over time, so connecting them can be complicated especially if the buildings shift at different rates.
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