Swan River Pedestrian Bridge Construction Methodology

Map of the causeways created for the construction of the Swan River Pedestrian Bridge and the diverted shared pedestrian pathways

General overview

  • Temporary causeways to facilitate construction
  • Working hours 7am to 7pm, Monday to Saturday, exceptions under special approval
  • Shared use path detours in place

Site offices

The main construction site office will be located in East Perth near the junction of Nile Street and Nelson Avenue.

Pedestrian and cyclists will be able to move through the construction areas on both sides of the river along detoured designated pathways. 

Temporary works - causeway construction

The pedestrian bridge construction methodology has been developed to minimise disruptions to the riverbed and surrounding landing areas, create safe and stable work platforms and minimise construction time.

Silt curtains will be installed before in-river construction works start. The curtains will be located approximately 10m outside of the causeway footprints, and will be used to control suspended soil particles in the waterway. Barges will be used to install the curtains, while marker buoys will identify the location of the curtains in the water.

Two 130m causeways of 50m and 54m widths respectively will be constructed on either side of the river to create construction and assembly platforms. The causeways will be established within the riverbed using a rocky granite material to form an outer bund and finer granite material for the inner fill. A Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP) details how disruption to the riverbed will be managed during causeway construction and removal. 

While barges will be used intermittently, the use of causeways reduces the amount of time that they are required thereby reducing river congestion and restrictions for other river users. Strict conditions are in place to address backwater impacts, flood plain management and river flow levels. 

General construction

Bridge piers and piles, to support the permanent bridge structure, will be installed from the causeways. The piers will be made of concrete, while the piles are made of steel filled with concrete.

Once piling and pier work is complete, the bridge decks and arches will be assembled in a number of stages. The central span will be assembled on the Burswood Peninsula, while the other arches and decks will be assembled on the causeways. The main arches and sections of the deck are composed of steel that will be wrapped in black and white Teflon fabric.

River navigation during construction

During the construction period the central navigation channel will be temporarily reduced to a width of 61 metres. All of the waters surrounding the bridge and causeway works will be delineated by special port and starboard marker buoys and closed to all vessels. Motor vessel speed through the area will be reduced to five knots.

Traffic management

The majority of construction vehicle movements will occur on the Burswood Peninsula side of the river. However, there will be significant construction vehicle movements on the East Perth side in Nelson Avenue, Nelson Crescent and Nile Street when the temporary causeways are installed and removed. 

A Traffic Management Plan has been prepared and will be used to manage traffic near residential areas, Trinity College, Gloucester Park and the WACA during the bridge’s construction.

The pedestrian and cycle pathways on both sides of the river will be detoured to ensure that access will always be available around the construction areas. Once the detours are in place additional traffic control measures will be used on the East Perth side to keep pedestrians and cyclists safe when moving through the construction area. These include a speed reduction on Nile St/Nelson Ave to 40 kmph, traffic signs and other traffic calming measures.

Key dates:

  • Site offices established – November 2015
  • Causeway construction commences – January 2016
  • Bridge foundations completed – early 2017
  • Bridge construction completion target - March 2018