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Albert ‘Tibby’ Cotter Pedestrian Bridge, Sydney, Australia

The structurally stunning Albert ‘Tibby’ Cotter Pedestrian Bridge is a shared pedestrian and cycle pathway in Moore Park, Sydney. It provides a safe and secure way for people to cross one of Sydney’s widest and busiest arterial roads, Anzac Parade, and travel from Central Station to the popular sporting and entertainment precinct at Moore Park.

Tensile and Jakob Rope Systems were proud to be involved in the building of the bridge, and were responsible for the design and construction of the mesh throw screens on the side of the bridge that offer a fall protection system that is strong, practical and beautiful.

Whilst the bridge is elaborate and striking in its design, the safety barriers appear subtle and almost transparent in comparison. This is the beauty of our Webnet mesh; it provides incredible strength and safety without obstructing views or being an eyesore to the environment.

Background

The bridge is named after Albert ‘Tibby’ Cotter, an Australian test cricketer and war hero killed in action during WWI. As a tribute to Tibby, the bridge was to be opened in time for the first match of the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup, which meant the construction needed to be completed in just 14 months. This tight deadline posed a challenge for the whole team to design and construct the bridge in a relatively short space of time.

Design

The intricately planned bridge needed to encompass urban design, engineering and construction that minimised any environmental impact, and this has certainly been achieved. The generous 6 meter wide walkway encourages pedestrian and cycling activity, yet fits in with the landscape with minimal disturbance to the surrounding Moreton Bay Fig trees.

The safety barriers we designed and created feature a unique pattern that represents the local park lands and the surrounding fig trees. We undertook some extensive modelling to complete the mesh shapes, and whilst the bridge appears simplistic in its design, there is a lot of complexity that went into creating something so dynamic.

One of the key features of our Webnet mesh is the ability to sculpt the mesh to conform to just about any complex geometrical pattern. This design is functional and beautiful at the same time, and is the perfect material for fall protection systems and safety applications. Whilst the mesh appears to be light and sheer, it is in fact incredibly strong.

Construction

Anzac Parade is a busy major road in Sydney, so installing the mesh with minimal interruption to the public posed some challenges. Tensile came up with a construction method that enabled 80–90% of the mesh to be built and installed off-site and then lifted into position.

The bridge’s complex geometrical design is a product of collaboration between the talented architect Hassell Studio and renowned engineer Arup. The bridge features sharp curves and spirals with sloping ramps that suit the topography of the build site. The result is a bridge that is spectacular in its appearance, functional, incredibly strong and above all, safe for pedestrians.

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Architects: Hassell Studio, Sydney

Planning and design: Tensile Construction & Design, Sydney

Text and photos: Tensile Construction & Design

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