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Bridging every challenge

Trio of new bridges to link Stockland development in north-western Sydney

Over the past 18 months, we’ve been collaborating with Stockland on several projects for their fast-growing Elara community in north-western Sydney. The high-profile partnership is set to continue with Fleetwood recently appointed to deliver a series of new pedestrian bridges across the family-oriented estate that’s already home to over 6,000 residents.

Set amongst 40 hectares of open spaces and network of walking trails, the Elara masterplan has been carefully designed to maximise community connectivity. Stockland identified the need for three new bridges to help residents more easily access the parks, schools, playgrounds, public transport and shops on their doorstep. To deliver them, they turned to Fleetwood.

Quality fabrication, quality installation, quality communities.

As Fleetwood Urban Project Lead, Adrian Trimmer, explains, the new bridges will provide critical pedestrian connections over the riparian spine that runs through the Elara development and out to the nearby Nepean River. “The bridges (3 metres wide and with spans of up to 70 metres) will directly help to activate the full length of the riparian corridor for community activities such as walking, running, outdoor gyms,” he says. “As well as providing places to reflect and learn about the surrounding flora and fauna.”

Before approaching Fleetwood, Stockland already had a clear vision of what they wanted for the new bridges. Guided by the approved designs (developed by landscape architects Paterson Design Studio and Inhouse Consulting Engineers), our role is leading the upcoming fabrication and construction stages. The main structural elements will be produced locally at our state-of-the-art workshop in Sydney, before being expertly installed on-site at Elara.

“Constructed out of galvanised steel, the bridges are streamlined and have a low visual impact that blends in with the surrounding bushland,” explains Adrian Trimmer. “The bridge supports are discreetly placed to create a feeling of suspension across the riparian and as the wetland grasses grow these will nestle in nicely. All finishes are low maintenance with a completely galvanised frame, superstructure and balustrade with stainless steel handrail and FRP decking.”

Elara’s lead landscape architect, Garth Paterson from Paterson Design Studio, also points out the bridge locations were carefully chosen. “The three pedestrian bridges represent important crossing points (in addition to four vehicular/pedestrian bridges) across the riparian zone at Elara. Our objective was to really maximise logical crossing points, while also linking two important parks which are adjacent to the parklands.”

3D concept of the Elara bridges

Growing amenity to meet growing community needs.

Contrary to much of the economic commentary surrounding Covid-19, Elara is continuing to experience strong demand. As Stockland Development Manager Craig Cosier explains, this means ongoing investment at Elara is a priority, especially through enhanced infrastructure and amenity for residents.

“The riparian corridor development and associated amenity at Elara is absolutely crucial and exemplifies our commitment to developing open spaces across Stockland communities,” he says. “With over seven kilometres of continuous pathways and trails, the new bridges will allow for safer pedestrian and cyclist access for families, seniors and those with reduced mobility, reducing the need to cross busy roads and providing easier access to the extensive parklands, trails and recreational amenities on offer. It’s great to see the project come to fruition.”

Planning for the new bridges is well advanced, with fabrication and construction soon to begin and the parklands scheduled to open in late 2020.

Off-the-shelf? Or customised? Full design? Or fabrication only?

Whatever your project’s bridge requirements, Fleetwood has the team and technology to make it happen. Contact us today.

*The main image in this article is of a similar project we completed for Western Sydney Parklands at Lizard Log Park

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