Narrabeen Lagoon Stage 2
Narrabeen Lagoon Stage 2
Narrabeen Lagoon Stage 2

The Challenge

  • Working through dense vegetation while respecting a highly sensitive and protected ecosystem
  • Achieve significant single spans; 52 metres across Middle Creek and 32 metres across South Creek
  • Structures need to be sturdy and durable while maintaining the original design intent
DesignExecute2 Process at Narrabeen Lagoon Stage 2
01 Discover
02 Develop
03 Detail
04 Deliver

01 Discover

An initial engineering had already been completed by another firm, but it was incomplete and didn’t live up to the basic engineering requirements. So, when our team was engaged on the project we immediately brought in our specialists from the Design Engineering Hub. Going back to the discovery phase enabled us to pinpoint the key objectives of our partners – i.e. the Council and TBLD. After running collaborative workshops with our partners we were able to learn what their design vision was so we could deliver an outcome that was as close as possible to the original idea.


All through the development of the structural designs, we kept the design intent intact and then presented this to Council and TBLD who were happy for us to continue to the next phase, which was detail design.


At this point, we were working with Warringah Council and landscape architects, Thompson Berrill Landscape Design, and together we created a dynamic, collaborative and multi-skilled team to ensure the most aesthetic, cost effective and environmentally sound design possible. The technical, operations and construction teams considered the project, brainstormed the challenges and developed strategies for dealing with likely issues during the design phase.


The time we invested at the discovery and develop phases certainly paid dividends when we started installing the Middle Creek and South Creek bridges. With input from the riggers, the group concluded that using pontoons to move the bridges into place risked damaging the riparian zone through potential oil spills. Furthermore, a certain amount of groundwork was required for the cranes to lift the pontoons into the water which would have meant impact damage. Investigation showed that the groundwork required to set up cranes to lift the bridges into place was largely the same as for the pontoons. The team eliminated the pontoons and used the cranes to carefully lift the bridges directly into place. This was an elegant, although more difficult solution given that one of the bridges was 52m long!

The Solution

This project resulted in an immensely popular track. All of the design intents were achieved and Council continues to be very happy with the result. By working so closely, collaboratively and intuitively with our partners, we were able to develop a track that is now being enjoyed by everyone in the community.

One track, four parts

There are the bridges and major infrastructure at creek crossings. Then there are the break-out areas, where there are BBQ’s and shelters. Then there is the track on ground where we have largely used crushed sandstone paths or concrete paths. The 4th part is the areas surrounding the lagoon that are marshy, continually wet, and prone to flooding. in these areas, we designed and constructed low lying boardwalk system as can be seen here.

A bridge for everyone

Designed especially to allow for pedestrians and cyclists on the shared path. This picture shows perfect co-existence of both, the dogs also love it!

The 'oars' on the bridge with the real oars on the water below.

The kayakers are a major feature of the whole Lagoon, and they were consulted when the design of the bridge was being formed. Because they are such a major feature, something signifying them was incorporated into the design; the orange oars can be seen embellished on the side of the bridge. These are not structural, just purely artistic.

We had strong design intentions and the design had a framework we wanted to achieve - the form, colour, shape, and the way that it was constructed. Fleetwood took that concept and successfully translated it into the built form. They’ve done an excellent job.

Glen Berrill Director, Thompson Berrill Landscape Design

Project Details

Design Partners

Thompson Berrill Landscape Design | Northern Beaches Council


Parks and Leisure Australia Award of Excellence (2015)