Pedestrian bridge to link Seaport and North Bank to open at the end of July

ICON: Aaron Brimfield with City of Launceston acting mayor Rob Soward. Picture: Paul Scambler
ICON: Aaron Brimfield with City of Launceston acting mayor Rob Soward. Picture: Paul Scambler

A slice of German design will be at home in Launceston as the last details of the Seaport pedestrian bridge are put into place.

The bridge, which will connect the Seaport to the under-construction Riverbend Park, formerly North Bank, is expected to be open at the end of July.

The bridge was designed and engineered by Latrobe firm BridgePro and the steel work was constructed by Haywards, at Breadalbane.

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BridgePro managing director Aaron Brimfield said a holiday to Europe gave him some inspiration for the new icon of Launceston.

“I was on a holiday and I saw a bridge in Cologne that I really liked the design of,” he said.

Some of the elements from the bridge at Cologne ended up in the design for Launceston’s Seaport bridge.

The construction of the bridge was described by Mr Brimfield as being “like a huge Lego kit” with about 11 spans being fit into place over the 120-metre section of the North-Esk River.

Construction of the bridge began in November with the foundations being placed first. The final twin spans reached the Seaport side of the river in late June.

Launceston’s acting mayor Rob Soward said the council was eager to see the bridge open to the public.

There will be a short delay to the bridge’s opening due to an issue with the supply of decking material available, which Mr Soward said was outside the council’s control.

“It has been an amazing sight to see the bridge taking shape and I know people are eager to see it up close and to actually walk and cycle across it,” alderman Soward said.

“I think this bridge is going to be a wonderful asset to the city, and one which will be highly utilised by Launceston residents.”

The bridge will feature sensor lights that will light up at night when someone is crossing it and the lights can also change colour to reflect seasonal activities or awareness campaigns.

Mr Brimfield said one of the challenges of building the bridge was to address water flow.

“Typically we would only have to address water flowing one way, but something unique to this bridge is the water flow is both ways,” he said.

Two-thirds of the bridge has been built above the level of the 100-year-flood mark, to protect against future flood weather events.

An artist impression of the site from initial designs submitted to the council for the pedestrian bridge.

An artist impression of the site from initial designs submitted to the council for the pedestrian bridge.

Sixteen piles were driven into the riverbed to a depth of 20m to allow construction of the bridge. It is 120-metres in length and weighs about 79 tonnes. 

Mr Brimfield said the opportunity to build this bridge was something special.

“We saw this as an opportunity to put something special in the middle of a fantastic city, and we think it really has the potential to become iconic,” he said.

While BridgePro Engineering have been the chief contractor on the project, a number of Northern Tasmanian companies have been involved in the construction of the bridge, including Haywards Steel, Pitt & Sherry, Contact Electrical, PDA Surveyors, and JMG Engineering.