Cotter Dam

“Access and amenity reaches new levels at Cotter Dam”

Executive Summary

Cotter Dam has been a key part of Canberra’s water infrastructure since 1912. A major enlargement project was undertaken by the ACT Government at the start of the decade, significantly increasing the dam’s capacity while also reinforcing its credentials as a major outdoor recreation destination. One of the largest infrastructure projects ever to be executed in the ACT, Fleetwood Urban was contracted to undertake the design and construction of several key elements in the new visitor precinct and discovery trail. This included two pedestrian bridges, a public boardwalk, shade shelters and an upgrade of the existing amenity block.


Bulk Water Alliance / ACTEW Corporation





Design Partners

GHD Landscape Architecture

Scope of Work

Deliver, Detail, Develop, Discover

Fleetwood Involvement

After carefully balancing the requirements of the brief with the site itself, we recommended installing our Stirling™ cable-stayed pedestrian bridge product for the 30m span across the Cotter River – an economical structure for single span bridges with a majestic appearance. The structure consisted of a single stay tower, with the bridge sections attached to the tower using tension cables. The sections consist of beams below the deck-line, with girder beams, cross members, joists and bracing all making up the superstructure. With site access very restricted, the main bridge components were fabricated off site and then assembled on site using a mini crawler crane. A sequenced crane lift was then used to install the final bridge structure before balustrades, handrails and kickrails added the final touches. Fleetwood was also engaged to repair a second bridge at Cotter Dam, as well as redesigning and upgrading the existing visitor amenities building ensuring all work was sympathetic to both the original structures and the local native habitat.

Community Engagement

The project was highly sensitive. As such, the client conducted considerable amounts of community engagement before and during the project.


Award Name Location Year
Trip Advisor Certifcate of Excellence Cotter Dam 2019