Hawthorne Canal

“A smart solution to keep local pedestrians and cyclists safer”

Executive Summary

At Leichhardt’s Hawthorne Canal Reserve, dogs and cyclists could never see eye to eye. Cyclists passing through the reserve on the bike path were constantly chased by dogs, and the local council had to find a solution. Following a competitive tender process, Fleetwood was engaged to design and construct a cycle/pedestrian bridge downstream of the reserve, allowing cyclists to bypass the reserve altogether and pedal without fear of canine pursuit!


Leichhardt Municipal Council (now Inner West Council)





Scope of Work

Deliver, Detail, Develop, Discover



Fleetwood Involvement

Fleetwood led the entire project, from the design and DA stages through to construction and installation. Working closely with the Council, we recommended using our in-house Longreach™ truss bridge system. This minimised unnecessary design costs and fast-tracked the entire process. The main bridge structure, measuring 28 metres long and 3 metres wide, was fabricated off-site using only galvanised steel components and sealed with a long-lasting marine grade coating system. It was then transported to the site in three sections. Simultaneously, our onsite team constructed the foundations using driven steel piles with reinforced concrete pile caps and abutments. The bridge structure was then assembled just metres from its final location and craned into position, before the project was completed with approach paths, retaining walls and handrails.

More Project Information


Given the beauty of the surrounding parklands, the bridge needed to be more than just a functional structure. Leichhardt Municipal Council (now Inner West Council) wanted a design that was visually-pleasing for the local community with clean lines and unassuming aesthetic.


The main challenge was identifying a solution that would meet Csouncil’s design vision whilst also maximising the available budget. It was also essential to deliver the project in a timely and efficient way that minimised community disruption.


  • 28 metre span truss bridge
  • DDA accessible
  • Designed to cycleway guidelines
  • Full childproof balustrades
  • Concrete approaches and path connections
  • Non slip decking

  • Concrete
  • Hot dip galvanising
  • FRP minimesh
  • Mild steel
  • Marine grade paint system

  • Longreach™ bridge

Work was completed off-site wherever possible. However the project still required construction and assembly works to take place in a public place with a high level of cycle and pedestrian activity. Working over water and the use of cranes also required careful safety planning.


Highly durable coatings were applied to all materials to reduce the need for ongoing maintenance, and minimise future disruptions to the local habitat.


The bridge is an important piece of social infrastructure, providing safe and easy connections between Five Dock and Leichhardt, including the ever-popular Bay Run overlooking Sydney Harbour and the Parramatta River.


By allowing pedestrians and cyclists to bypass a known stress point, the new bridge provides a safer route that encourages locals to once again explore and/or commute through the local area.



Award Name Location Year
Greater Sydney Planning Awards, Award 2 – Great Community Led Project Hawthorne Canal 2010