Smalls Creek White Gum

“Tight access. Tight timings. Fantastic outcome.”


Hills Shire Council





Scope of Work

Deliver, Detail, Develop, Discover



Executive Summary

Hills Shire Council wanted to improve community access through local bushland at Kellyville North in Sydney’s north-west. Following an open tender, Fleetwood was appointed as the lead contractor to deliver concrete approach paths and a new cable-stayed pedestrian and cycling bridge across Smalls Creek, based on our Stirling™ bridge system. With busy Wellgate Avenue and a major residential area immediately to the west and local bushland to the east, the project required clever design, careful planning and ongoing community consultation. From award to completion we had just nine months to make it all happen. And we did.


Fleetwood Involvement

The project began with Hills Shire Council presenting their initial concept design and budget as part of an open tender process. We quickly identified our cable-stayed Stirling™ bridge design as a great match for the brief and presented 3D drawings for a solution that could be delivered both on time and budget. Shortly after we were appointed as the principal contractor and used our DesignExecute2™ delivery model to manage every stage from start to finish. This included providing complete structural engineering services, detailed shop drawings, off-site fabrication and pre-assembly (to minimise community disruptions on site), installation of the footings and approaches, and then final installation of the bridge itself.

More Project Information


Hills Shire Council wanted their new bridge to feature a cable-stayed construction. It was also imperative for it to be delivered, within budget, to the AS5100 standard. As one of the most stringent design criteria for bridges in Australia, this required meticulous planning and skilled engineering using our Stirling™ bridge system as the core design platform.


The site was heavily constrained by the tight residential area on one side and dense bushland on the other. Most access was undertaken from Wellgate Avenue on the residential side, however it was essential to minimise impact to the local residents. All work had to be carefully scheduled around the residents, especially with regard to road closures when delivering the bridge sections and craning them into position. There was also added time pressure as Council wanted the new bridge opened within the current financial year – leaving us nine months from award to completion.


Given the project’s considerable time pressure, we decided to install a live camera on site to allow Council to see exactly how their project was progressing, 24/7, without physically going on site. This also provided us with a valuable record of how the works were carried out for reference on future projects. From a structural perspective, the excavation of the bridge’s footings needed to be kept out of the Smalls Creek exclusion zone, requiring an innovative design approach to the location of the footings.


  • Stirling™ cable-stayed pedestrian and cycling bridge
  • Concrete approaches
  • Main bridge support frame was painted orange to reflect the Council’s existing colour palette

  • Hot dip galvanising
  • Mild steel
  • Non marine grade paint system
  • FRP minimesh
  • Concrete
  • Concrete footings

  • Stirling™ bridge

The site’s location presented a number of added safety considerations. To the east we needed to be ever-vigilant of the busy traffic along Wellgate Avenue. Crews were also alert to the risks of the local bushland and waterway, including snakes, insects and unstable footing.


To protect the local habitat – both during and after construction – the bridge footings were strictly kept outside of an exclusive zone established on either side of Smalls Creek. Fibre reinforced plastic (FRP) decking was chosen for the new bridge as its highly durable structure would require virtually no ongoing maintenance.


The new bridge is part of a wider community masterplan for a continuous cycling route in the Hills District that extends from Castle Hill to Rouse Hill. By filling a critical access link across Smalls Creek, its now easier and safer for local residents to get outside and stay active. This is even more important given a significant increase in high-rise development within the Hills District in recent years.


Hill Shire Council ran a series of community engagement initiatives before and during the project. Fleetwood also liaised directly with local residents advising them of potential disruptions during the excavation and installation stages.


The new bridge is an important community access link. It removes the previous geographic barriers for locals, encouraging them to get outdoors and enjoy more of their own backyard, on foot or bike. With its distinct orange colour scheme set against the natural bushland backdrop, the bridge has also quickly become a very recognisable local landmark and popular meeting spot.