San Francisco International Airport Elevated Roadway


City & County of San Francisco


San Francisco, California

In 1972, the Prestressed Concrete Institute gave the Elevated Roadway project at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) an Award of Merit. The major constraint for this project was continual operation of the existing roadway and led to a unique composite structure. The single row of cast-in-place columns support a cast-in-place, post-tensioned, continuous spine beam. The roadway is formed of precast, prestressed inverted double tees that cantilever on both sides of the spine beam. Precast curved parapet units are attached and together these units provide the “form” for the cast-in-place post-tensioned pavement.

All the construction for the nearly one mile of parallel deck elevated roadway was achieved with minimum disruption to the existing airport traffic. Attractive finishes with minimum maintenance requirements add to the economy of this structure. The pierced parapets curved into the soffit add a distinctive architectural touch. The awards jury commented “the design form is very daring and very elegant. The upward curve forming the edge beam is beautifully handled. All the forms and shapes used seem to belong at an airport; the bridge is almost flying. The single central support reduces the clutter usually associated with elevated roadways. A beautiful work.”

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