Skyway bridges link buildings or parking decks to buildings in order to ferry pedestrians safely over roadways. Also called skybridges or skywalks, skyway bridges consist of an enclosed or covered bridge between two or more buildings in an urban area. Skyway bridges can be used in hospitals, sports arenas, universities, train stations, airports, and many other building types. Skyway bridges usually connect on the first few floors of a building above the ground-level floor, though they are sometimes much higher. 


Short or long, skyways bridges can connect across a single rail right-of-way or street, or connect several buildings together in a complex. In Minneapolis, the skyway bridge system connects 80 blocks together in the downtown to protect pedestrians from the harsh winter. 


The majority of skyway bridges are privately owned, since they connect private buildings. However, skyway bridges can also be publicly owned by the federal or state government. Choose a bridge company that has experience working with both public entities and private developers. 

What are the applications for Skyway Bridges?

Skyway bridges connect two buildings together. These bridges can be conditioned or unconditioned. They can be used to connect two new buildings together, a new building to an existing building, or two existing buildings. Skyway bridges are usually a few stories above street level to give ample room for large trucks and vehicles carrying oversized loads to pass unimpeded underneath. A skyway bridge may also connect two parking decks or a parking deck over a street to ground level. In these instances, a skyway bridge is covered, and usually shielded in some way on the sides from the elements, but is usually not conditioned. 


Because they are covered, often fully enclosed, bridges that connect two or more buildings in an urban area, skyway bridges have additional considerations and constraints that need to be addressed. Unlike other open air bridges, a skyway bridge has to comply with architectural building code regulations. There is also the issue of penetrating the building envelope. Often if you are connecting a conditioned space to a non-conditioned space, there is some type of vestibule to keep climate controlled air in and the elements out. 


Connecting two buildings can be a complex endeavor; buildings shift and move over their life. If they do this at different rates, it could rip the skyway bridge apart. Technically if you are connecting two buildings with a skyway bridge, there are essentially three building elements that must be treated as separate structural elements.

What do I need to know to have my Skyway Bridge designed and built?

Because they connect with a building, skyway bridges require specialized knowledge to design, manufacture, and install. You need to work with a bridge company that has the knowledge of not just structural engineering but architecture as well. 


Bridge Brothers has experience in designing, engineering, and manufacturing skyway bridges. Use a bridge company that has the experience to avoid disasters. A skyway bridge is also a great opportunity to create an iconic moment on your campus or buildings. Our designers and engineers can work with you to find the best solution for your new skyway bridge.


Skyway bridges need to offer shelter from the elements so that pedestrians are either fully or partially protected from the weather. If a skyway bridge is connecting a building to a publicly accessible area like a parking lot, it must have good sightlines for safely. Skyway bridges need to be able to withstand wind loads and snow loads and they also must comply with local architectural building codes.


Installation of a skyway bridge can be complex, especially if it has to integrate into an ongoing project. Prefabricating the skyway bridge can help simplify this process. Prefabricating the skyway bridge does not mean that you have to choose a predesigned skyway bridge. Each skyway bridge is custom designed, engineered, and manufactured. This is preferable, because instead of building and welding the skyway bridge onsite, the skyway bridge is constructed offsite in a closed environment. This increases the quality of the skyway bridge construction and reduces the build time because there are no weather delays. Once the skyway bridge is completed, depending on the size, it is transported in whole or in a few parts to the job site where it is installed and assembled in a short period of time. Therefore, the skyway bridge installation will have minimal impact on your current use of an existing area, or, if it is new construction, it will have minimal impact of the job site or job schedule. 

How can Bridge Brothers help me with my Skyway Bridge?

A skyway bridge is a gateway to your campus or district. Bridge Brothers understands that your skyway bridge should have a memorable and timeless design. The skyway bridge also needs to meet local codes and integrate seamlessly into any existing buildings. Bridge Brothers has experience working with many municipalities and we have engineers and architects on staff that are familiar with skyway bridge design and have knowledge of the codes required. 


Engineering and architecture is paramount in skyway bridge design. Choose a firm that is skilled and has knowledge of architectural skyway bridge design, construction engineering, and installation. Bridge Brothers has designed, manufactured, and installed a variety of skyway bridges both large and small. A skyway bridge should be beautiful as well as functional. Bridge Brothers has one person that shepherds your skyway bridge through the design, engineering, manufacturing and installation phases. Bridge Brothers offers turn-key prefabricated skyway bridges of enduring beauty, strength and durability. 


Constructed from steel or aluminum, our prefabricated skyway bridges have several advantages, including low cost, high quality fabrication, and quick and low-impact installation. We can also manufacture your skyway bridge in advance of other construction.


Because skyway bridge site locations are either in existing urban areas or campuses with tricky site constraints, installation can be complicated. Bridge Brothers has experience in skyway bridge installation. We will prepare the site conditions for the bridge, design the skyway bridge structure so that it is light weight and easy to assemble on site, and then deliver and install it in an urban area or campus. 


There are a large number of variables involved in designing skyway bridges for new or existing skyway systems. Bridge Brothers has experience with designing, engineering and installing skyway bridges in a variety of locations. We can help you make the decision on what type of skyway bridge will work best for your skyway system based on cost, style and environmental compatibility.

Skyway bridge sketch