Crossing the world record bridge by foot
The “Pickering GO Pedestrian Bridge” in the Canadian city of Pickering provides pedestrians with a safe route from the railway station in the south to the city centre in the north. With the Kalzip outer shell illuminated at night, it is a real eye-catcher.
The pedestrian bridge in Pickering, Canada is already becoming a landmark in the city: with a length of 250 metres, it has made it into the 2021 Guinness Book of Records as the longest covered pedestrian bridge in the world. The span stretches over six railway tracks and Highway 401, one of the busiest motorways in the north of the USA and Canada with 14 lanes of traffic. The federal and provincial governments and the local transport company Metrolinx launched the pedestrian bridge project to provide visitors from Pickering GO station with a direct and safe connection to the district above the motorway with its shopping mall and local college. The visible Kalzip cladding gives the above-ground tunnel an organic shape. The standing seam profiles are illuminated in the dark evening hours, making the structure visible from the air.
Perforation for light
The pedestrian bridge is a steel truss structure with a concrete floor and a steel deck roof. Normally used as a waterproof building envelope, the standing seam profiles 65/305 from Kalzip were used here for a purely visual effect.The convex curved standing seam profiled sheets are perforated with 6 mm diameter holes spaced 8 mm apart. Thanks to the slight transparency, pedestrians can enjoy natural daylight and protection from direct sunlight as well as a view of Highway 401. The perforated surface also allows the pedestrian bridge to be illuminated with LED light strips both inside and out.
Due to the complex shape of the bridge, the steel structure was first scanned using a terrestrial LiDAR sensor. Using the data obtained as a basis, Kalzip was able to create a plan to bend and cut the standing seam profiles accordingly depending on the section and curvature.
Exposed sections provide an unobstructed view of the motorway and the surrounding countryside. The profiled panels catch the colourful play of light. (Photo: Kalzip GmbH)
Construction with obstacles
In addition to calculations and construction plans, Kalzip also supplied the raw material in coils and a mobile roll-forming machine. A team of American and a German staff member operated the roll-forming machine and produced the standing seam profiles to the required length on site. The machine can be set to the requested profile shape and width and also offers the function of bending the finished profile sheets to the specified radius.
However, the installation of the standing seam profiles posed a somewhat greater challenge. The motorway lanes had to be partially closed to allow work on the outside of the bridge. A large part of the work was therefore carried out at night so as not to unnecessarily disrupt the important traffic route. The installation of the profiled sheets was also different to usual: instead of overlapping at the standing seams, the sheets were attached to the steel frame at slightly different angles. This creates a slight stepped structure depending on the section and viewing angle.
Silver by day, colourful by night
After a total of around ten years from the initial planning to the finished construction, the bridge was completed in 2018. The architecture becomes a highlight, especially in the evening and at night. Around 300 LED lights line the footpath and highlight the organic shapes. The colours of the lights alternate between pale lilac, violet, blue and petrol. Thanks to the AluPlusPatina coating and perforations, the play of light is transmitted both inwards and outwards. In 2019, the building received the “Urban Design Award” from the City of Pickering.
Thoughtfully considered. KALZIP.
Yannick de Beauregard
August-Horch-Str. 20 – 22