Steel for pedestrian bridges

Steel bridges: 'structural sculptures'


The use of steel for pedestrian bridges has increased dramatically, driven in part by the architectural flexibility to create extraordinary structures. These bridges can provide both pedestrians and cyclists with amenity and, at the same time, create awe-inspiring ‘structural sculptures’.

Pedestrian bridges utilising structural steel can span significant distances and be constructed with minimum disruption to often highly congested and busy public spaces. 

City Walk Bridge, Barangaroo. Courtesy Elmasry Steel Design and Detailing.

Advantages of steel for pedestrian bridges

In addition to the usual advantages offered by the use of steel in bridges, steel's application in pedestrian bridges presents some unique additional benefits: 

  • Lightweight construction: allows steel to span further and, importantly, facilitates structures that structurally ‘push the envelope’ in terms of balancing forces, with cantilevers, extreme eccentricity and curved members

  • Torsionally stiff: stiffened box construction facilitates curved primary load-carrying members by resisting induced torque 

  • Flexibility: facilitates designs to easily meet highly varying forces – and with optimised weight

  • Constructability: lightweight yet stiff, steel can allow complete sections of primary structure to be assembled adjacent to the final position and craned into place overnight, minimising disruption to busy thoroughfares. Prefabrication and portability have allowed significant spans to open up stunning walking trails in sensitive national park settings. 

Falcon Street footbridge.

Resources


Archived Case Studies

Kurilpa Bridge, Brisbane

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Falcon Street Footbridge, Sydney

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Jim Stynes Bridge, Melbourne

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