Project Management and 3D Structural Design

Rich Stevens, P.E. designed the structure and provided project management for Drake University’s video displays. This project was slated for completion just before their major international relays event. Athletes from more than 60 nations were able to witness live action on the video displays. This project came in on time, within budget, and in alignment. That’s important when the product is basically a very large high definition TV.

The large moment foundations were designed to minimize cost and to work within the limitations of available boring equipment.

In order to minimize crane pick time and field welds, the walkway structures were prefabricated in the shop in 6 sections. The use of Autodesk Inventor 3D models minimized risk, resulting in fabrication and erection bids that were 1/3 less than budgeted. 

One interesting design feature: since this structure backs up to a women’s softball field, the customer expressed a concern that young adults might attempt to climb  on the structure. For that reason and others, the maintenance walkways were  designed to be fully OSHA compliant, rather than “catwalks”. The edge of the walkway is also placed away from the column flange. A security ladder system was proposed, including a lockable, non-climbable cage. Ladders between sections have gated entries. The overall design makes the structure  tough to climb without authorization, and hard to fall off of. The cost of making this structure safer was very economical, given the 3D modeling and prefabrication.

Technical assistance and P.E. stamping for this project was provided by Dennis & Magnani Structural Consultants.