World-first tensegrity pedestrian bridge reaches milestone

The Kurilpa Bridge project will link pedestrian and cycling traffic from Brisbane’s legal precinct to its cultural hub, as part of Premier Anna Bligh’s promise to pedestrians and cyclists.The $63 million, 425m pedestrian and cycle bridge is due to be completed late next year, with the deck work stage anticipated to be finished this Christmas.Working on the project with Baulderstone are Cox Rayner Architects and ARUP, with construction of the tensegrity structure via balanced cantilever method across the Brisbane River already begun.According to Baulderstone Kurilpa Bridge project manager Paul Stathis, 30 workers have constructed 19.2m of the bridge’s pedestrian and cyclist bridge deck over the Riverside Expressway and the Bicentennial Bikeway.“We are building the bridge deck piece by piece, night by night. Every morning as people drive through they will be able to see something new,” Stathis said.“We have another 25.6 metres to go on the deck and with good weather we expect to be across by Christmas.“The 35-metre mast that supports the bridge cables will be in place.”Stathis said constructing the Kurilpa Bridge 10 years ago would not have been possible because the design software to create the project did not exist at the time.“Our engineers wanted the challenge of building something very lightweight and efficient and our architects were interested in building something that wasn’t a run-of-the-mill concrete bridge – it is not just unique in appearance, it’s unique in design and engineering,” Stathis said.Meanwhile, Baulderstone has been the recipient of two of Queensland’s major engineering and construction awards held in October.Baulderstone received high commendations in the Research, Development and Innovation category at the 2008 Queensland Engineering Excellence awards for its partnership with ARC, and a commendation in Safety Excellence for its work on the Prince Charles Hospital upgrade in the Queensland Major Contractors Association awards.

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