Massive aerial walkway the weight of 14 blue whales moved down airport runway

SEATAC, Wash. — The center span of a massive elevated walkway was moved down a closed runway at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport early Friday.

The aerial walkway, which is for the airport’s international arrivals facility, is the size of a football field and weighs as much as 14 blue whales. If stood on end, it would be 150 feet higher than the Space Needle, according to the Port of Seattle.

“The move will attach to what will be a monumental one-of-a-kind structure - the largest aerial walkway over an active taxilane in the world,” the Port said in a news release.

Port spokesman Perry Cooper said Friday the move took a little longer than expected – about 3-1/2 hours. It was moved by self-propelled transport machines.

“It’s been a long night, but it has been a monumental night. This is something that we are not going to see ever again where we’ve got something the size of a football field, weighing 14 blue whales, taken down the middle of the runway in the middle of the night,” said Cooper.

The 1,500-ton center span is expected to be lifted into place sometime Friday based on safety and structural checks. Strand jacks will lift the walkway at about 20 feet per hour and take 4 to 5 hours to complete.

The Port said the walkway is one of the largest clean span structures in the US and allows a Boeing 747 to taxi underneath.