Nepean River Bridge

The NSW Government is building a new pedestrian and cyclist bridge spanning the Nepean River between Penrith and Emu Plains.

Nepean River Bridge

Updates and announcements - bridge opens 28 October

Roads and Maritime Services is delivering the new bridge to provide a safe crossing for pedestrians and cyclists over the Nepean River and improve connections to existing and future shared paths, including the Great River Walk.

We are putting the finishing touches on the Nepean River Bridge and will be ready for the official opening 28 October 2018. In June this year Roads and Maritime Services invited the local community to name your bridge (PDF, 1.86Mb). We had over 300 submissions through this consultation. We look forward to sharing the chosen bridge name with you before the launch.

Why not REGISTER HERE to reserve your free tickets to the bridge opening on Sunday 28 October.

Fast facts

  • Main span length – 200 metres
  • Overall bridge deck length – 257 metres
  • Overall length of shared path – 455metres
  • Truss width – 8 metres
  • Truss height – 13.5 metres
  • Number of support structures – two abutments and two piers
  • Steel tonnage of truss – 485 tonnes
  • Steel tonnage of deck – 155 tonnes.

Project background

Community members campaigned for a safer crossing over the Nepean River for pedestrians and cyclists as the current path on Victoria Bridge has no barrier between the narrow footpath and road traffic. During the strategic stage and concept development, a clip on shared path as well as a stand-alone pedestrian and cyclist bridge directly next to Victoria Bridge on the southern side were investigated. A structural feasibility study was completed in 2010, which determined the Victoria Bridge would not have sufficient structural capacity to accommodate a clip on shared path structure. An adjoining bridge next to Victoria Bridge would adversely affect flooding and impact on the heritage structure.

The final location of the bridge was pushed further south away from Victoria Bridge to avoid hazards and other local constraints. These included heritage, access to and around property and the submarine high pressure gas mains on the southern side of the bridge which supplies Blue Mountains residents with gas.

In mid 2012 a number of community information sessions were held to assess the best location for a new crossing of the river. Six crossing locations were ranked against key criteria identified during the community consultation workshops including safety, function, cost and community.

The location south of Victoria Bridge was considered the safest and most appropriate. The preferred bridge design and location was chosen following extensive community consultation, as it best addressed environmental, engineering and community constraints.

The project was approved in November 2014, and in December 2014 Roads and Maritime started early site preparation work which involved the demolition of the remaining derelict building on the Log Cabin site at Memorial Avenue, Penrith.

The detailed design of the bridge and invitation of construction tenders to build the bridge was carried in 2015 and early 2016. Roads and Maritime has contracted Seymour Whyte Constructions Pty Ltd to build the bridge in May 2016.

Changes during detailed design of the bridge

Changes during detailed design of the bridge

The original concept design considered a curved design, however during the detailed design phase, it was revised to incorporate a straight triangular truss with a gentle vertical curve. The straight truss bridge option will still provide a large span, generous width and unique structure that will be an attractive landmark for the area.
The straight option will provide:

  • A more efficient structural design which reduces the amount of steel needed by 20 per cent
  • An easier fabrication process, with less welding and more similar pieces of steel
  • A simplified construction methodology that will reduce bridge self-weight loads
  • Reduced risks during construction of the bridge
  • Reduced carbon footprint, by using less steel and energy during construction.

The estimated cost of the bridge construction is $49 million. This estimate has increased from the original estimate during the preliminary concept design, due to the complex nature of the long span structure and construction methodology, as well as the relocation of overhead high voltage electrical lines crossing the river. However, the straight truss bridge option has helped to keep the overall cost down when compared to the original curved design.

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