North Bank pedestrian and cycle bridge one step closer to completion

A 17-metre-long 'jack up' barge has begun pile driving for the North Bank pedestrian and cycle bridge.

Nicknamed 'Bargey McBargeface' by council engineers, the barge carries a crane and four winches required to manoeuvre long steel piles for the project.

Each pile weighs more than 3.8 tonnes. 

City of Launceston director of major projects Dale Sinfield said the construction is quite unique.  

“It's used as a principal aid to install the piles that will be the basic, fundamental component of the substructure for the new seaport bridge,” he said of the barge. 

“It is not used very often in Tasmania, or even Australia.”

Mr Sinfield said 12 piles will be installed, which are 600 millimetres in diameter and 24-metres long.

“Collectively they are between 20 to 24 metres in depth, they will form the substructure that will support the superstructure, which is the bridge deck that people will see,” he said.

“It underlies the strength of the bridge which is a very unique way of installing what is a fixed barge above the high-tide line.”

The initial stage of the project will be completed quickly and in time for Christmas, Mr Sinfield said.

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“This barge is actually positioned above high tide and is not hostage to the rising tides,” he said.

The bridge will provide a link to the major new recreational area and all-abilities playground, which will soon be constructed at North Bank. 

The $9 million revitalisation project is expected to be completed by June 2018.