PHX Sky Train™ Project Earns Elevator World Award
March 23, 2012
(Phoenix, Ariz.) The Terminal 4 Escalator Replacement portion of the PHX Sky Train™ project received Elevator World magazine’s 15th Annual Project of the Year Award for Category 4, Escalator Modernization. PHX Sky Train™ shared the honor with Vertical Transportation Excellence (VTX), Gannett Fleming, ThyssenKrupp Elevator, the City of Phoenix, Hensel Phelps Construction, Allred Metal Products, Gervasio & Associates, and the NSB Group of Gannett Fleming.
Elevator World’s Project of the Year Award recognizes innovative designs that overcame a unique challenge in vertical, horizontal, or inclined transportation systems. This well-respected competition garners entries from across the globe. Articles about the Project of the Year Award winners appeared in the January 2012 issue of the magazine.
As part of the modernization project at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, Ariz., the City of Phoenix Aviation Department chose to replace the two existing escalators on the east and west end of the terminal with three new escalators at each end. The addition of the third escalator at each end was required to transport passengers from Level 1 Baggage Claim to Level 3, where they will board the PHX Sky Train™. The work was completed in November 2010.
VTX designed the elevators, escalators, and moving walks based on the client’s operational needs, anticipated usage, and environmental conditions. The design of the equipment was based on the American Public Transit Association’s Heavy Duty Transit Guidelines and modified to meet the needs of the airport environment.
These are the first escalators at Sky Harbor International Airport, the City of Phoenix, and in the state of Arizona to use a Sleep Mode or Intermittent Operation function, which saves energy and extends the useful life of the equipment. This feature causes the escalators to slow down automatically to 25 percent of normal operating speed when no one is using the escalators and detects approaching passengers to return to normal speed.
The airport is one of the nation’s 10 busiest, serving more than 1 million passengers per month. The high traffic meant strict safety requirements, coupled with limited construction space and the need for travelers to have continuous access to at least one running escalator at all times. Despite these hurdles, the project met the guidelines of the American Public Transit Association and provided an energy-efficient design.
Design challenges included replacing escalators while keeping existing escalators in service. VTX also had to re-use the existing structural support locations because the escalator wellways could not be enlarged. This required customized escalators to fit in the existing space. The Terminal 4 Escalator Replacement portion of the PHX Sky Train™ project is now complete, and the new escalators are in service at both the west and east ends of the terminal.
For more information, please contact Anthony J. DeFrancesco, C.E.I., at 602.553.0313, x8210 or via email.