Aug 03 2022, by Fleetwood Urban

Can your bridge actually be built?

Creating an idea for a new bridge or boardwalk is typically the easy part. The far greater challenge is often working out how to actually deliver that idea within the real-world parameters of your project, if it’s even possible at all.

The risk of ‘unbuildable’ bridge designs certainly isn’t new for councils, developers, engineers and designers. But time and again, we still see projects where this is exactly what happens, often many months – and thousands of dollars – into the development process.

Avoiding design dead ends.

Swathes of rules, regulations and other external factors need to be taken into consideration when developing a new bridge – and any one of them could bring your design idea to an abrupt dead end. Of course, if your project partners aren’t aware of these risk factors from the outset, it’s usually a recipe for trouble. That’s why there’s no substitute for engaging the deep experience of a bridge delivery expert.


Two recent examples

In the past few months, we’ve been asked to trouble-shoot on two very different bridge projects where questionable decisions (by previous contractors) have led to significant cost and timeline blowouts. The clients in both cases were effectively forced back to the drawing board, despite having already invested tens of thousands of dollars to develop concepts that simply couldn’t be built.

The first resulted from a lack of oversight surrounding the preservation of extremely rare Indigenous rock paintings located close to the construction envelope. As became evident, the bridge’s recommended location and configuration should never have been proposed. The second project was a fully-developed bridge design that, despite months of detailing and flood modelling, had missed a fundamental construction guideline set down by the local water authority – and was rejected as a result. Somewhat ironically, our alternative solution ended up being considerably simpler and more cost-effective in any case.


In both instances, a delivery team with a more thorough appreciation of the full project parameters would have identified the potential for problems much earlier in the planning stages – avoiding considerable cost, frustration and reputational damage for both the clients and the original contractors.



Making ideas work for 50+ years

Fleetwood specialises in turning ideas into deliverable realities. Our expert inhouse team takes the time to fully understand your vision and assess all of the project variables. Pragmatic, innovative and detail-oriented, we then explore alternatives that stay true to your vision, but in a way that can be confidently realised to the satisfaction of all stakeholders. Our sole focus is finding the best possible way to make your idea happen.


If this sounds like the type of partner you want delivering your next bridge project, contact us today.

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