Bridge for New Terminal Will Need Tons of Support

Enormous tub girders arrive at PIT this week in milestone for construction project

By Oscar Rzodkiewicz

Published January 30, 2023

Read Time: < 1 min


The front bridge for Pittsburgh International Airport’s new terminal will be longer than the Fort Pitt Bridge, and a structure of that scale requires a lot of support.

That’s why the airport this week will welcome some of the 96 total tub girders—roughly 100-foot long, 120,000-pound pieces of steel that will support the bridge—from Tampa, Fla., where they were manufactured.

Nearly every piece of the Terminal Modernization Program is made in the Pittsburgh region, but because the tub girders are unique and specially crafted for such a large project, Tampa Steel created the girders and shipped them the 1,222 miles north.

When the girders get to PIT, they will be used to construct the two-level, 1,300-foot bridge that will deliver travelers to both the arrivals and departures levels of the new terminal coming in 2025.

The front bridge’s design will give passengers direct, efficient access to the terminal as well as the adjacent new parking garage, which will provide more than 3,000 more covered spots than the airport currently offers.

Tampa Steel will ship 96 girders and cross members in total. Sending that many enormous pieces of metal across the country is no easy feat.

For loads this size, drivers are required to get permits in each state they plan to drive through. They also are not allowed to drive on nights or weekends.

This is the first of 200 truckloads of material coming to the airport from Tampa Steel, with the final deliveries expected in late February 2023. Their installation will begin in March.

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