Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Bridge in Place
Bridge Structure is Towed – Space Shuttle Endeavour Style – 3-10ths of a Mile through East Hollywood
Los Angeles (Oct. 27, 2012) – Children’s Hospital Los Angeles came one step closer to merging its two campuses when it completed the installation of a 40 ton steel-framed bridge structure over Sunset Boulevard early Saturday. When the bridge walkway is finished early next year, it will symbolically connect the Marion and John E. Anderson Pavilion and The Saban Research Institute located on opposite sides of the street.
“All in all, moving and setting the bridge was nothing short of a success,” says Abel Gonzalez, senior project executive at Rudolph and Sletten, the general contractor which also constructed the hospital’s 317-bed inpatient tower, the Anderson Pavilion. “Everything went as planned and Sunset Boulevard was reopened ahead of schedule at 8:45 a.m.”
"It is a relief and a thrill to watch the Bridge Over Sunset approach completion,” says Richard Cordova, FACHE, president and CEO of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. “This walkway will not only protect staff and families from the traffic but it will let anyone driving down Sunset know that they are driving through a gateway to the best children's hospital in California."
As TV news helicopters hovered overhead recording the historical move, the 92-foot steel span weighing 40 tons was lifted onto maneuverable dolly trailers. At 11:37 p.m., the bridge began its journey through East Hollywood, towed by a truck south on Hillhurst Ave. and then west on Sunset, carefully maneuvering its way around a street light dangling over the intersection of Sunset, Hillhurst and Hollywood Boulevard. At 12:15 p.m., the bridge reached its destination at the construction site on Sunset between the McAlister Building on the south side and the hospital garage on the north side of the street. Neighboring streets were reopened to traffic, which was controlled by the same firm, Traffic Management Inc., that directed the Space Shuttle Endeavor’s historical tour through Los Angeles.
For the next two-plus hours, crews attached four cables to the steel-framed bridge, and shortly after 2:30 a.m., a 300 ton crane raised and maneuvered the steel span over the two steel support towers perched like sentries on either side of Sunset, and lowered the bridge into place. Once the bridge was in place at 3:30 a.m., crews spent the rest of the night bolting, welding and securing the structure. At 8:45 a.m., the short stretch of Sunset between Vermont Avenue and Rodney Drive where the work took place was reopened.
"The hospital would like to thank Zimmer Gunsal Frasca Architects for their great work designing the bridge, and Rudolph and Sletten for their excellent work building the bridge. Their tremendous efforts made this a success," says Elizabeth Cochran, the associate vice president who oversees construction, design and facilities at the hospital.
The bridge had been on the drawing board since 2001 but became a reality nine years later when a $10 million donation was committed by four generous and longtime hospital supporters and leaders: Immediate past co-chair of the hospital Board of Trustees, Marion Anderson, and honorary Board of Trustee member Cheryl Saban, PhD, along with their husbands, Haim Saban and the late John E. Anderson. In 2011, the hospital’s new inpatient tower was named in honor of the Andersons for their generous and ongoing support of the hospital. As co-chair of the Board of Trustees and of Living Proof: The Campaign for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Marion Anderson guided the hospital through its most successful fundraising effort ever, helping raise $1 billion to support the world-class pediatric medical facility. The renowned Saban Research Institute was named after Cheryl and Haim Saban by virtue of their transformative $40 million gift in 2003.
"I want to extend my thanks to the Andersons and the Sabans for their generous donations and their longstanding support of Children's Hospital Los Angeles," Cordova says.
"It is very fulfilling to see we are on the verge of bridging the two parts of the campus together -- research and hospital,” says Anderson. “I have enjoyed working with the Sabans to connect The Saban Research Institute and the Marion and John E. Anderson Pavilion. And the bridge will make it safe for our patients and staff when they need to cross Sunset Boulevard."
“By helping to build this historical Bridge Over Sunset, we will increase the sense of camaraderie between the staff and the cohesiveness between all the various buildings on campus,” says Dr. Saban. “The bridge we hoped and dreamed for is becoming a reality.”
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