Work on the Nepean River pedestrian bridge is lunging toward the finish line with another major milestone soon to be celebrated as the bridge segments are launched.
Stuart Ayres said today is an exciting today for the Penrith community as it marks the start of the new 257 metre long pedestrian bridge making its way across the Nepean River.
“Crews have been working hard since June last year to prepare the river and the site for the new pedestrian bridge and it’s great to see the body of the bridge is finally ready to slide in to place,” Stuart Ayres said.
“We recently celebrated the delivery of a number of massive trusses which form the pedestrian bridge and now dreams become reality as the second fabricated segment is launched.
“The first bridge segment was launched to the edge of the eastern side of the Nepean River just before Christmas last year and the remaining segments are now being progressively launched across the river to the pier on the western bank.”
Stuart Ayres said the launch is a delicate process with around 20 crew members needed to operate the machinery to lift the 50 metre long segment which weighs 185 tonnes.
“The launch of this section involves using two heavy lift jacks to pull out the 25 metre bridge segment across launching tracks which are made of stainless steel and Teflon,” Stuart Ayres said.
“Once this section of the bridge is pulled to the first temporary pier in the river, it will rest on a large support so the next segment can be fabricated and joined within the temporary workshop.
“These segments will take up to a day to be launched to the edge of the river to ensure work is carried out safely.
“This is engineering at its finest and it’s exciting to see such a great project being built in Penrith.”
Stuart Ayres said once the segment is launched, the community and motorists travelling across Victoria Bridge will be able to see the signature colour of the new pedestrian bridge.
“The vibrant ochre colour of the bridge will become obvious to the community once the first 25 metres of the segment is launched.
“The colour of the bridge was chosen to represent the orange tree orchards which once grew on the Emu Plains side of the river as well as the colour of the sunset when it hits the sandstone piers of the Victoria Bridge.
“This new bridge will transform the way Penrith residents interact with the Nepean River and will provide a safe crossing for years to come.”
The new bridge is expected to be completed later this year, weather permitting.
For more information about the new pedestrian bridge visit http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/projects/sydney-west/nepean-river-bridge/index.html.