“Quick thinking replaces an iconic Hawkesbury viewing platform in record time”
Located on the Hawkesbury River, north-west of Sydney, Howe Park is an idyllic location for picnics and hiking, with sweeping views across the river to Macquarie Park. One of its most popular drawcards has always been its scenic lookout. However, with age and the elements taking their toll on the old timber structure, Hawkesbury City Council urgently needed a replacement, together with new retaining walls and landscaping. After a competitive tender they turned to Fleetwood to make it happen – quickly.
Hawkesbury City Council
Scope of Work
Deliver, Detail, Develop, Discover
Our involvement began with a competitive tender. Ultimately, the tight deadline was one of the deciding factors in Hawkesbury City Council choosing Fleetwood. Our finely tuned DesignExecute2™ delivery model gave them the confidence we could handle the full scope of the project within the tight timeline, including design and delivery in a high-risk environment. Once appointed we got straight to work. Within two-and-a-half weeks, we’d designed a cantilevered, steel and fibreglass viewing deck. The client approved our plans immediately and four-and-a-half weeks later – two days ahead of schedule – we’d demolished the damaged original structure, prepared the new foundations, manufactured and installed the new platform, and finished the retaining walls and landscaping. Project complete. Ahead of time and right on budget.
More Project Information
As evidenced by the dilapidated state of the previous structure, the new viewing platform needed to stand the test of time and be made using hard-wearing, low maintenance materials. Vandalism was also identified as a potential threat to be considered in the design.
With the clock ticking, the condensed timeline was our main challenge. To ensure community safety, Council needed the entire project delivered very fast – from demolition and removal of the old structure, to construction and installation of a new one that would stand the test of time. When the brief first went to tender, there were 20 weeks until deadline. By the time the project was approved to commence, we had just seven!
- Cantilevered observation deck
- Gabion retaining walls
- Childproof balustrade
- Hardwood timber lean rails
- Hot dip galvanising
- FRP minimesh
- Mild steel
- Unseasoned hardwood
- Talon™ viewing platform
The hard-to-access location of the site, coupled with the damaged existing viewing platform and a steep loose embankment, posed several risks to our demolition and construction crews, as well as visitors to the high-use public recreation area. Careful pre-planning and safety signage was an important part of the mitigation strategy. This included drilling footings through imported fill on the riverbank.
The erosion-sensitive slope was an important design consideration and also influenced our approach to material selection and construction. We also needed to ensure effective silt control was in place to protect run-off into the nearby Hawkesbury River.
Howe Park has long been a social hub for Hawkesbury locals and visitors. By upgrading the viewing platform and surrounding amenities, its much-loved place in the local community is assured for decades to come.
Howe Park now boasts an attractive new lookout that’s durable, slip-resistant and low maintenance. It means park visitors can once again enjoy the delightful views across the river to the sandy beach at Macquarie Park.
There is nothing Fleetwood could have done better. It is amazing how they got it done so quickly. I am very happy with the way the Project Team manage their work. Utilising their standardised product system saved me a lot of grief with program and cost.
Craig Johnson Parks Project Officer Park and Recreation