Australia’s first diagonal arch bridge one step closer to reality

Australia’s first true diagonal arch bridge is one step closer to becoming a reality with City of Parramatta Council securing a multimillion-dollar funding contribution from the NSW Government’s Housing Acceleration Fund to construct the impressive new pedestrian and cyclist connection.

Council has sought expressions of interest to build the 190-metre-long Alfred Street Bridge, which will provide the City’s growing number of residents, workers, students and visitors a safe, convenient and scenic walking and cycling link across the Parramatta River to the east of the CBD.

“The number of people using our riverside paths and cycleways has more than doubled in some parts over the last five years ‒ and that was before we saw a spike in usage during the COVID-19 crisis,” City of Parramatta Lord Mayor Cr Bob Dwyer said.

“The need for a bridge connecting the northern and southern sides of the river at the eastern end of the City is clear, and the new Alfred Street Bridge will make these trips around our City safer and faster.”

The design has been led by Australian company Bonacci Infrastructure, and the bridge will connect the Parramatta CBD with Western Sydney University’s Rydalmere campus and provide direct access to the proposed Parramatta Light Rail stop on the southern bank. It will also link four key regional cycling routes, providing a safer rider experience.

“As well as being great exercise, travelling through our City by bike or foot gives people an opportunity to experience Parramatta from a completely different perspective,” Cr Dwyer said.

Member for Parramatta Geoff Lee said the project would transform the way people move around the City and suburbs.

“We are building Sydney’s best continuous pedestrian and cycleway along the Parramatta River, including the new Alfred Street Bridge. The bridge will enable residents to safely cross over the river and enjoy our beautiful area.”

The main arch will tower more than 30 metres above the water and span 80 metres across the Parramatta River. The bridge will be 4.5 metres wide to accommodate both pedestrians and cyclists now and in the future.

“It’s exciting that Parramatta will be home to the first true diagonal arch bridge in the country. Whether you are travelling across the bridge or down the river, you will share the same experience of passing under the majestic arch,” Cr Dwyer said.

In addition to the funding contribution from the Housing Acceleration Fund, the project is being co-funded by Council through development contributions and Planning Agreements.

The project is currently in the final stages of planning approval, and construction is expected to commence early 2021.

Parramatta River pedestrian and cycle bridge looking west from river artist impression

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