Saltwater Creek Cycleway

“Creating an essential link in Central Coast Council's pathway network”

Executive Summary

Saltwater Creek on the shores of Tuggerah Lake is one of the Central Coast’s favourite tourist spots. A sensitive mangrove habitat, the creek was also a natural obstacle on the busy walking track that connects Killarney Vale and Long Jetty, making an ecologically responsible pedestrian/cyclist bridge a much-needed piece of infrastructure for the Central Coast Council.


Central Coast Council





Scope of Work

Deliver, Detail, Develop, Discover



Fleetwood Involvement

Guided by our DesignExecute2 delivery model, stage one saw us collaborate closely with the Council to assess and understand the local ecosystem, and match the project's specifications with product selection. Two construction options were presented, including 3D product drawings and photo montage, and the Sandford™ pedestrian bridge was chosen. From here, our visualisation and drafting team worked through a detailed design of the site, before the engineering materials and building methods were thoroughly documented in preparation for construction. To minimise the amount of time and disturbance at Saltwater Creek itself, we chose to manufacture and assemble the bridge and approaches in three main sections in our workshop, before our on-site crew completed the installation. Highly experienced in working in fragile or preservation areas, our site teams carefully and responsibly managed construction access to preserve the surrounding habitat.

More Project Information


Given the natural beauty and cultural significance of the site, the bridge needed to blend into its surroundings, without spoiling the views of the creek itself. The slimline design needed to be simple and functional, causing minimal impact to the environment and, during the build, cause as little disruption for the local residents as possible. The nature of the site also meant that in addition to the arced elevation over the creek, a single curve also needed to be included in the plan. This made it a more complex structure, meaning the design and detail had to be amended to ensure it worked structurally, and still met all relevant Australian Standards.


The sensitivity of the local ecosystem presented a number of challenges. The construction approach needed to respect the fact that acid sulfate soils were present in the surrounding wetland and footing locations. The main bridge abutments were also very close to the waterline, meaning protective finishes up to and beyond marine grade were selected. Careful management and planning by the design team ensured these challenges were overcome before site works started, minimising the impact on the surrounding ecology.


The Sandford™ bridge structure was the ideal solution, effectively – and economically – providing the necessary high clearance over Saltwater Creek. By designing curved superstructure support that reduced the actual clear span, we were able to reduce the size of the main beams. We then used screw piles and concrete footings to support the structure.


  • Rolled main girders
  • Custom arcing central support columns
  • FRP minimesh joists and decking
  • Marine galvanised coatings to prevent corrosion and increase durability

  • Concrete footings
  • Screw piles
  • Mild steel
  • Unseasoned hardwood
  • FRP minimesh
  • Concrete
  • FRP
  • Hot dip galvanising
  • Stainless steel
  • Non marine grade paint system

  • Sandford™ bridge

Exposed to the elements day and night, the bridge’s design and materials needed to be highly durable to ensure years of safe use by the local community. Care was also taken to protect workers during the construction phase, given the site’s challenging location at the water’s edge.


Home to thousands of species of plant and animals, mangroves are a critical and highly sensitive part of the coastal ecosystem. Care had to be taken at every stage of construction to preserve the natural balance of the surrounding areas and ensure minimal disturbance of the acid sulfate soils.


By unlocking more of the mangrove areas surrounding Tuggerah Lake, and making it more easily accessible to more people, the bridge has quickly become an integral piece of social infrastructure for the local community.


The new bridge across Saltwater Creek provides an essential pedestrian/cycle link between Killarney Vale and Long Jetty, giving local residents and visitors continuous access to explore Tuggerah Lake.