"Miracle Bridge" Construction Begins as Texas Children's Hospital Creates Iconic Structure to Connect Campus, Enhance Patient Care


HOUSTON - (Oct. 1, 2010) - Construction begins this Saturday,Oct. 2 on the "miracle bridge," the signature oval glass sky bridge that will connect Texas Children's new maternity building, currently under construction,with the hospital's West Tower and Wallace Tower facilities. A marvel of design and engineering, the two-story oval bridge will enhance Texas Children's patient care by providing hospital physicians, staff and patient families with rapid access to all patient care facilities. The bridge will also provide a secure and serene passageway, separate from the hospital's general population,for transporting Texas Children's patients such as critically ill newborns who need additional specialized care in the Newborn Center. All Texas Children's employees and visitors, as well as employees and visitors of nearby medical facilities, will benefit from this safe, convenient, elevated passageway acrossbusy Fannin Street.

Beginning Saturday, Oct. 2 and continuing through March 2011, the intersection of Bates Street and Fannin Street, Texas Children's Hospital entrance #10, will close to incoming and outgoing traffic due to bridge construction. Visitors to Texas Children's Clinical Care Center are advised to use Richard J.V. Johnson Avenue, located off of Holcombe Boulevard, as an alternative route. Maps and route information are available at www.maps.texaschildrens.org.Texas Children's Hospital parking garages will remain open throughout construction.

Slated to be Texas' largest oval bridge when completed, the Texas Children's"miracle bridge" construction will take about nine months to complete. As progress continues in the coming months, additional street closures and traffic re-routing will be necessary for brief periods. The majority of street closures are scheduled for weekday nights and weekends to minimize traffic disruption,according to Texas Children's project organizers.

"This circular sky bridge is a fitting symbol for the full continuum of care that Texas Children's will offer families -- beginning before conception and continuing after delivery," said Cris Daskevich, senior vice president of Texas Children's Hospital and administrator for the new maternity facility. "It will connect families to Texas Children's full contingent of leading experts and advanced technologies and treatments."

With an elevated area measuring 980 square feet in circumference, the Texas Children's "miracle bridge" will be a new landmark in the Texas Medical Center.Designed by Houston-based FKP Architects, the bridge utilizes a structural glass and truss design that will give it an unobstructed look when completed.Illuminated by 124 lighted columns spaced throughout the two-story oval passageway, the bridge will appear to glow in the evening. The bridge is being constructed by Bellows Construction, also a Houston company.

When it opens in 2011, Texas Children's maternity facility will usher in a new era as the hospital expands into obstetrical and gynecological services,establishing one of the nation's premier facilities for women's, fetal and newborn health. Expanding upon its premier reputation in fetal and neonatal medicine, Texas Children's will offer comprehensive family-centered care,beginning before conception and continuing after delivery, with a special focus on high-risk births. With high-risk births on the rise nationally, the maternity center will respond to the escalating need for obstetrical research and treatment, assuring that mothers and their babies have access to the most advanced technologies and treatments available. More information is available at http://www.vision.texaschildrens.org/maternity_center.html

Before visiting Texas Children's Hospital, all patient families and visitors are advised to check maps.texaschildrens.org for the most up-to-date traffic routes and street access.

About Texas Children’s Hospital

Texas Children’s Hospital, a not-for-profit health care organization, is committed to creating a healthier future for children and women throughout the global community by leading in patient care, education and research. Consistently ranked as the best children’s hospital in Texas, and among the top in the nation, Texas Children’s has garnered widespread recognition for its expertise and breakthroughs in pediatric and women’s health. The hospital includes the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute; the Feigin Center for pediatric research; Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women, a comprehensive obstetrics/gynecology facility focusing on high-risk births; Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus, a community hospital in suburban West Houston; and Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands, a second community hospital planned to open in 2017. The organization also created the nation’s first HMO for children, has the largest pediatric primary care network in the country and a global health program that’s channeling care to children and women all over the world. Texas Children’s Hospital is affiliated with Baylor College of Medicine. For more information, go to www.texaschildrens.org. Get the latest news by visiting the online newsroom and Twitter at twitter.com/texaschildrens.