Jul 09 2020, by Fleetwood Urban
Bridging access challenges, together
Fleetwood to deliver a 55-metre suspension bridge for Greater Shepparton City Council.
It’s fair to say many people still know Fleetwood best for our award-winning play structures, shelters and boardwalks. While we’re extremely passionate about our work in these areas, delivering bridges – both large and small – is another core area of our expertise. In fact, one of our latest Victorian projects has us collaborating with Greater Shepparton City Council as the primary contractors to deliver a major new pedestrian suspension bridge at Australian Botanic Gardens, an important regional tourist destination in the Goulburn Valley that first opened its doors back in 2011.
More visitors. Easier access.
Greater Shepparton City Council appointed Fleetwood in June 2020 looking to improve access for visitors moving through the sweeping 22.5-hectare Australian Botanic Gardens site. Specifically, a new bridge was needed to span the Broken River which flows through the gardens to provide an easier, more seamless experience for visitors whilst also increasing the daily capacity of the site which continues to grow in popularity each year.
Soft soil demands innovative thinking.
At 55 metres long, the new bridge is a significant structure that’s presented numerous engineering and design challenges. In one of the most fundamental, our early site investigations and testing revealed the soil on both sides of the river was far too soft to safely support the heavy concrete blocks required for a traditional cable-stayed bridge. This called for an innovative suspension-based construction approach whereby the completed bridge will essentially support its own weight.
Of course, not all suspension bridges are alike. To ensure the perfect outcome, our design team explored and refined a variety of different solutions. Following several variations to the balustrade, the final design was recently signed off and the project is now moving into the all-important shop detailing phase.
Spanning every stage, from start to finish.
Reassured by our proven bridge portfolio spanning more than three decades, Greater Shepparton City Council has also entrusted Fleetwood to lead the design, manufacture and installation stages of the new suspension bridge. Planning is well advanced and when the bridge opens to the public it will provide yet another excellent example of our full end-to-end capabilities, taking even the most complex of bridge projects from initial design right through to final completion.
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