Austroads winners

This year, for the first time, the Austroads Bridge Conference was held in New Zealand.

Austroads is the association of Australian and New Zealand road transport and traffic authorities. Every two to three years it has a conference to bring together professionals interested in bridge engineering and management to further develop their knowledge and expertise. As part of the conference, the Austroads Bridges awards were held on May 28 at SkyCity Convention Centre, Auckland.

The winners of each award follow:

Maintenance and rehabilitation

Esmonde Road Underpass, Auckland

The use of various techniques, such as raising the deck using polystyrene blocks as a void creator, using fibre reinforced polymers to provide for additional shear capacity and the use of transverse prestressing for strengthening the diaphragms, contributed to a very cost efficient solution compared to the cost of replacing the bridge and the inherent disruption to traffic which would have occurred.

Austroads_3.jpgSmall bridges

Kumutoto Walkway Bridge, Wellington

This is an unusual and exciting bridge that fits in with the environment very well. Both the “boat cradle” concept of support and the “crane frame” suspension support represent archetype waterfront structures providing a very pleasing outcome to blend with the surrounding maritime structures in a bold but pleasing way.

Small structures

Exmouth Marina Footbridge, Western Australia

The very elegant and light appearance of the structure belies the obvious complexity of the design and the difficulty of construction. These features, coupled with the streamlining of the deck and arches to resist the cyclonic winds and some of the durability detailing to resist the harsh environment, make this an outstanding entry.

Austroads_4.jpgMedium structures

Hillcrest Bridge, Auckland

The originality of the concept, coupled with its elegance and lightness, makes this the striking bridge of the Northern Gateway project. The vertical curve of the superstructure made possible by its construction on the ground, blends with the surrounding hillsides in an effortless way, hiding the courageous design and complex construction details that were necessary.

Austroads_2.jpgMedium bridges

Ormiston Road Bridge, Manukau

In response to the owner’s request for a bridge presenting a strong statement, this design competition winner provides an elegant answer. This challenging design concept and complex structure to build has successfully achieved all of the owner’s requirements and the architect’s conceptual wishes. The quality of construction is very high and the detailing of many of the elements shows that much thought has gone into the bridge’s creation.

Austroads_1.jpgLarge structures

Port River Expressway, South Australia

These twin structures represent a complex project involving the disciplines of both mechanical and civil engineering and can be described as a hi-tech, quality project. The designers and constructors developed very detailed concepts of metal fittings attached to concrete and other types of connections, including a bascule system for the road bridge that allows the span to be raised and lowered easily by counterweights. The outcome looks simple but it hides the complexity of the whole project. Environmental protection of dolphins and other marine fauna by using an innovative “bubble curtain” around the piles is an example of the detail and attention which was given to every aspect of the project.

Austroads_5.jpgLarge bridges and gold award for overall winner

Eleanor Schonell Bridge, Brisbane

This dedicated bus, pedestrian and cycle bridge links the community of Brisbane and the University of Queensland in a spectacular way taking into account architecture, construction, economy and the environment. A state-of-the-art design, which includes for the future provision of a light rail system, was a competition winner that was significantly lower in cost than the others and was constructed on budget and ahead of schedule. Considerable thought was entertained to find the most cost effective solution and this was achieved in a spectacular way through innovative design and careful material selection, which is expected to increase the life of the structure from 100 to 50 years.  

Contractor Vol.33  No.6  July 2009
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