Skyway span installed over Coon Rapids Boulevard

Installation of a 170-foot long skyway span over Coon Rapids Boulevard at Mercy Hospital went without a hitch over the weekend.

Crews put a 170-foot long skyway span in place over Coon Rapids Boulevard Saturday morning.
Crews put a 170-foot long skyway span in place over Coon Rapids Boulevard Saturday morning.

Coon Rapids Boulevard had been scheduled to be closed to traffic from just west of Blackfoot Street to just east of Dakotah Street from 5 a.m. Saturday (Dec. 14) to 5 a.m. Monday morning.

But the boulevard was back open at 5:30 p.m. Sunday (Dec. 15), according to Ross G. Nelson, project manager for Kraus-Anderson Construction Company, which is the contractor for both the skyway and the Allina Health medical building under construction across the street from the hospital.

“Everything went smoothly,” Nelson said.

The 170-foot long span is long for a skyway, but not the longest that Kraus-Anderson Construction Company has installed, he said.

“We have done one over 200 feet,” Nelson said.

Three large cranes were  used to maneuver the skyway span in place over the boulevard Saturday morning.

The largest weighed 200 tons and was raised to a height of some 80 feet, according to Nelson.

The boulevard won’t be shut down to traffic for the remainder of the skyway project, but lane closures will be in place almost every day for the next five to six weeks while work continues on the skyway, Nelson said.

Completion of the skyway is scheduled for mid-March 2014, but the medical building will be finished and turned over to Allina Health Feb. 6.

Approvals for the skyway came from both the Coon Rapids City Council in the form of a site plan and the Anoka County Board through a license agreement, which allows the skyway to be built over the boulevard.

When complete, the skyway, which is the first to be installed over a public street in Coon Rapids, will extend 300 feet from the south side of the office building across the boulevard.

It will then run 160 feet parallel to the south side of the boulevard and then 80 feet south into the hospital.

A small addition will be constructed by the main hospital entrance for the skyway connection.

There will be 18 feet of clearance between the bottom of the skyway and Coon Rapids Boulevard.

The exterior of the skyway will be a mix of gray, red and beige architectural metal panels and glass windows, according to Coon Rapids Planner Scott Harlicker.

The supports will be concrete covered with a gray architectural metal panel; the bottom four feet will be exposed aggregate, Harlicker said.

Allina Health’s Mercy Specialty Center, a four-story structure, will be a 120,000 square-foot, multi-specialty medical building, which will include the Virginia Piper Cancer Institute – Mercy Hospital plus specialty care, outpatient surgery services and obstetrics/women’s care.

Features of the building include a drop-off entrance, plenty of parking, hands-free entrances, extra-wide corridors, elevators and suite entrances.

Peter Bodley is at [email protected]