SkyBridge: Raising the Bar in Highrise Construction | PCL

Raising the Bar in Highrise Construction

After more than four years of planning, PCL placed SkyBridgea 350-ton residential component of a larger condominium complexbetween the 28th, 29th, and 30th floors of the Concord Adex CityPlace development in Toronto, Ontario. By carefully monitoring wind speed and other critical factors, the PCL project team was able to complete the complicated lift in under 14 hours. The SkyBridge will contain two residential condominium suites, allowing the property to claim a record for having the world’s highest residences on a bridge. The bridge’s glass design offers a unique, 360-degree view of the city and Lake Ontario.

Concord Adex CityPlace SkyBridge
Early Involvement and Collaboration

This project is a shining example of the benefits of collaboration, and the added value that PCL, as construction manager, brings to clients through early involvement in a project. PCL worked with Concord Adex and their design team long before construction began, to develop an approach to this complex lift that was in alignment with the client’s overall budget, timeline, return on investment, and operating costs.

Innovative Solutions

The entire structural box of the SkyBridge was assembled close to the third-floor level, atop a raised platform and temporary support system. The frame consisted of heavy rectangular tubes, traditional I-beams, and solid steel sections made up of plate, complemented by specialty glass wall systems built using the latest techniques.
The PCL project team used a strand-jacking system to raise the bridge into place. High-capacity hydraulic cylinders were placed on a hoist beam at the top of each tower. The hoist beams were then connected to multiple steel cables or “strands” to lift the bridge vertically. The design of the hoist beams also allowed the bridge to move horizontally.
The type of quality construction seen on this project doesn’t just happen--it’s the result of a strong commitment to planning, management, ongoing dialog, and rigorous field supervision.

Great Relationships

As construction manager, PCL was able to assemble the right team of subcontractors to do this job because of the long-term relationships that PCL has built in the local market.
“This was a great collaborative solution,” said Concord Adex project manager, Jeff Wilkenson. “Lifting a bridge next to a completed building is an impressive engineering feat. Everyone on the project team worked together to achieve this outcome. Great companies with practical experience got involved early to provide the project designers with direction.”
Well-managed projects, fair treatment, and one of the best safety records in the industry attract quality subcontractors to PCL; that allows PCL to draw on the best talent to meet client needs. Anything is possible when the right people are on the team.