The Westmont Hospitality Group wanted to connect the Hilton Atlanta and Atlanta Marriott Marquis hotels in Peachtree Center of downtown Atlanta in order to provide a seamless experience for convention attendees. The new access would provide a combined 279,000 square feet of meeting space and 2,800 rooms all under one roof in the center of one of the most desirable and accessible convention destinations.
The primary challenge of the project involved building a cost-effective and aesthetically pleasing enclosed pedestrian bridge walkway over Courtland Street that provided for minimal disturbance to the high volume of vehicular traffic below.
A Continental® Pedestrian Truss Bridge was chosen for the skywalk project because this prefabricated overpass guarantees a quality structure and rapid installation. These walkway bridges can also accommodate special architectural treatments, glazing requirements and pre-wired electrical systems.
“The bridge was delivered to the jobsite a few days prior to being set where some assembly and metal decking was installed,” said Joe Ranieri, Jobsite Superintendant with Choate Construction. “We were able to set the first section of the bridge in just one day as installation was seamless and went faster than planned. The final two sections were set the following week and again, everything went perfectly. The location of the bridge over five lanes of traffic was probably the biggest challenge.”
The skywalk structure consists of 3 spans – totaling 179- ft. 2” in length. The Westmont Hospitality Group chose a painted box truss with an acid-wash concrete deck poured by Choate Construction, the project contractor. Each span is fully enclosed with exterior-mounted glazing and the passageway provides for heating and cooling during inclement weather. The bridge span approaching the Hilton has a cable-supported overhang structure that allows for covered access upon guest arrival to the front of the Hilton.
“Everyone involved with the project was extremely pleased,” said Ranieri. “The project team was a big part of the overall success of this project and I look forward to working with them again.”
The pedestrian bridge walkway project was the first of a multi-phase, multi-million dollar refurbishment project for the Hilton Atlanta including 1,226 guest rooms and suites, 55 meeting rooms totaling 119,000 square-feet of conference space and a variety of award-winning restaurants. The Atlanta Marriott Marquis hotel also recently completed a $138 million transformation which includes the addition of 46,000 square-feet of additional meeting space bringing the total meeting space to 160,000; the renovation of all 1,663 guest rooms and 94 suites; five new restaurants and lounges, Spa, fitness center, swimming pool and lobby.
“There is an electrifying synergy created from the sky bridge and the fact that two of our nation’s top brands are connected with one goal in mind: being able to host the highest value conventions, meetings and events in the city of Atlanta,” stated Atlanta Marriott Marquis Director of Sales and Marketing, Keith Hensley.
Hilton Atlanta Director of Sales and Marketing, Edd Karlan said, “In the spirit of partnership and hospitality, the backbone of our two brands, we join together with our clients in mind.”
The bridge opened in March 2009 and both hotels celebrated the addition of the new bridge with a ribbon cutting ceremony.