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Wings over Washington: Soar Above the Evergreen State on a Scenic—Virtual—Journey Located over Miner’s Landing on Seattle’s Pier 57, the new “flying theater” ride was created to attract tourists from across the country and world. the loads while remaining very rigid to prevent feedback to the sensitive ride controllers. The ride machinery weighs 136,000 pounds and is paired with a 70,000-pound, top-tobottom, side-to-side, 180-degree screen. (This weight is the equivalent of about 50 Ford F-150 trucks.) BergerABAM’s design solution was to provide a heavy concrete foundation tied into the pier to support the machinery and screen. The weight of the foundation tied into the pier provided the mass needed to prevent movement during the short-term dynamic loads from the ride. Grand opening of the state-of-the-art aerial adventure that takes you above many scenic Washington sites.

The grand opening of Wings over Washington on 25 August 2016 at Pier 57 revealed a third-generation state-of-the-art improvement over Disney’s “Soarin’ over California” ride. On this scenic journey, visitors can experience the scents, mists, movements, and sounds of flying over a multitude of Washington State’s most beautiful land- and seascapes. However, there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to the new Wings over Washington ride on Seattle’s Pier 57. Supporting the Loads The Pier 57 Corporation—the owners—needed to provide a solid base so that the ride could work its magic. The ride machinery is very heavy and it moves dynamically during the experience creating high loads on the foundation. Because of this, a very strong base was needed to support

To construct this foundation, a hole was cut in the pier deck, removing old timber piles, and replacing them with steel piles to support the 495,000-pound concrete slab, 136,000-pound ride machinery, and 70,000-pound screen. The finished foundation included the concrete slab, eight 24-inch-diameter steel piles, and four 16-inch-diameter piles. Installing the Ride The best way to install the ride’s equipment and screen inside the building was to remove the roof over half the width of the building. A large crane on a barge lowered the ride equipment and screen through a hole that had only a few inches of clearance on either side. What’s more, this construction and careful placement had to be done in the dead of night to avoid disturbing the businesses and traffic in and around Pier 57. One wrong move of the crane (continued on page 2)

Inside/Out Newsletter | Winter 2017 | Issue 64  

BergerABAM is a consulting firm offering services in the areas of planning, civil and structural engineering, architecture, environmental se...

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