Falcon Street Pedestrian and Cyclist Bridge, Australia

The Falcon Street Pedestrian and Cyclist Facilities Project was initiated by the Roads and Traffic Authority of New South Wales (RTA) to separate pedestrian and cyclist movements from the traffic flows in the vicinity of Falcon Street, North Sydney, and to provide a safe and  effective means for members of the local community to cross the Warringah Freeway.

In 2006 the RTA engaged Aurecon to develop a design for a pedestrian and cyclist bridge to create a continuous crossing over the busy Warringah Freeway and to assist with the community consultation process.

The local community was closely involved in the development phase, ensuring a high level of community engagement and acceptance of the project. A key consideration for the community was the structure’s aesthetics. Unique details were developed for throw and privacy screens to create a distinctive look for the bridge, while a 1.5 m deep box was adopted to produce a very slender superstructure with a high span-to-depth ratio.

It was a major challenge to achieve an effective design which would allow the safe construction of a 193 metre long bridge structure over 19 lanes of the Warringah Freeway with minimal disruption to traffic on one of the busiest roads in Australia. Aurecon’s experienced project team achieved this through innovative design solutions and extensive planning.

A complex underpass structure linking Merlin Street north to Merlin Street south, and a new ramp to the existing pedestrian bridge at Ridge Street was also required.

The new pedestrian and cyclist facilities at Falcon Street, Neutral Bay, were opened to the public on 17 August 2009 by the Hon. Michael Daley, former NSW Minister for Roads. The infrastructure provides a key link in regional cycling routes and significantly enhances pedestrian and cyclist safety.

The results demonstrate the successful integration of community, client, consultant and contractor to deliver a required outcome; which was recognised by the Australian Steel Institute when it awarded the project the national winner 2010 for Structural Engineering Steel Design (Infrastructure and Mining).