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Link Walkway, Manchester Airport
associated engineer
Travers Morgan & Partners
date  1993
UK era  Modern  |  category  Building  |  reference  SJ818853
A striking and deceptively simple covered bridge, disguised as a building, and linking two equalling striking airport buildings.
It stands on concrete piers, 30m apart and wider at the top than at ground level, contributing to the impression that the walkway floats between the buildings. The reinforcement bars in the piers also serve as lighting conductors, and this compact provision characterises the services design throughout.
Borrowing from aircraft design, the main services in the tubular structure are squeezed into minimal space beneath the internal deck and are accessible only from below. Secondary services are suspended from the ceiling.
The tube is unusually rigid, as moving walkways can tolerate far less structural deflection than most buildings. 54mm x 980mm steel plate was welded to create the beams which form the main structural members, and which support the transverse floor ribs.
Additional rigidity along the length of the tube is provided by shear links at regular intervals between the two main beams, forming a central structure similar to a perforated box girder.
Curved, two-pin arch ribs spring from the transverse floor members, and from this skeleton hangs the cladding which forms the tube. Thin concrete floor decks on either side of the internal walkway work in shear to carry movement direct to the bridge piers.
Lead consultant: David Tasker
Architect & mechanical engineer: Aukett
Construction: Taylor Woodrow
reference sources   LG/SJ

Link Walkway, Manchester Airport