Planning for Brisbane’s future climate risks was key in designing and delivering Brisbane’s Neville Bonner Bridge which has recently completed key supporting sections.
WSP, along with Grimshaw Architects, delivered concept design for the 320m long, 75m high cable-stayed pedestrian bridge – named after the first Aboriginal Australian to become a member of the Parliament of Australia.
Rob West, WSP Australia’s Lead Structural Engineer, said the structure was designed for wind speeds greater than 220km per hour and to resist a one in 2000-year flood event, with consideration given in respect to possible future climate change impacts on these critical design actions.
“We also considered needing to complement the pre-existing environment and the new Queens’ Wharf precinct, which WSP has also played a key role in designing.”
“The project is being built over the Riverside and is supported by the Queens Wharf Brisbane (QWB) IRD structure, so our team worked to design something that could be constructed with minimal impacts to road and river traffic, the adjacent QWB construction site and pre-existing structures.”
The slender arch and single-mast design showcase views of the river, city, and South Bank parklands, keeping it cool and shaded from the intense Queensland sun.
More than 1,000-tonnes of complex fabricated structural steel is required to build the bridge with around 800-tonnes of temporary steel used just to secure and construct the bridge as well as a number of large river barges.
“When the Neville Bonner Bridge opens, the public will see an elegant and fluid structural sculpture. However, when I look at this bridge, I see the result of the combined efforts of a team of incredible individuals whom each have given their all into making this a truly beautiful structure that showcases the very best of design, functionality and form,” Rob said.
The form of the bridge, its visual slenderness and future proofing are world-class – it is designed to stand the test of time and provides a cultural icon to the city of Brisbane.
Comprising a unique bridge form that combines both traditional arch and cable-stayed structures in an elegant, balanced structure; the geometry of the bridge has been finely tuned to balance the majority of the load on the central pier, with the weight of the main span counterbalanced by the arch, and structurally tied back to a piled abutment foundation at Southbank.
Simon Crooks, Destination Brisbane Consortium Project Director said the current assembly of the bridge sections is making the Neville Bonner Bridge a permanent and standout feature of Brisbane.
“Fitzgerald Constructions has safely secured the crown of the arch in place using a scaffolding platform that will remain until the bridge reaches the mid-way point, early in 2022,” Simon said.
“The crown is pivotal in providing the balance and strength of the cable stay and suspended structure of the pedestrian bridge.”
“At 60 tonnes in weight, the crown incorporates fixing locations for the six cable stay that support the bridge deck below between the landing abutment at South Bank and the mid-river pier.”
“The crown is also the connection point for the two cables to the top of the mast that help transfer the load of the bridge back to the abutment anchor points at South Bank.”
“The crown joins and supports four arch segments or legs, two of which are now securely in place from the South Bank abutment.”
Around 10,000 people a day are expected to cross the river via a pedestrian bridge that will measure 322 metres when it opens with the Queen’s Wharf Brisbane integrated resort in the first half of 2023.