Ex­cel­lent en­gi­neer­ing

Hamilton News - - FRONT PAGE - Tom Row­land and Peter Tif­fany

The eye-catch­ing Perry bridge over the Waikato River has beaten struc­tures from around the world to scoop an in­ter­na­tional award for en­gi­neer­ing ex­cel­lence.

The Perry Bridge over the Waikato River on Te Awa — The Great River Ride has beaten struc­tures from around the world to win an in­ter­na­tional award for en­gi­neer­ing ex­cel­lence.

The bridge, at Horotiu north of Hamil­ton, was recog­nised as the best pedes­trian bridge at the global Struc­tural Awards in Lon­don last week­end.

The struc­ture — which opened just over a year ago — was awarded for ex­cel­lence in the de­sign of pedes­trian and/or cy­cle bridges, or other light­weight bridge struc­tures. It was up against the Knos­trop Foot­bridge in Leeds, the Somers Town Bridge in Lon­don and the Suzhou Da­jia, Dou­ble Bridges in China.

The judg­ing panel of in­ter­na­tional ex­perts in en­gi­neer­ing, de­sign, ar­chi­tec­ture and con­struc­tion said the de­sign was a cru­cial el­e­ment in at­tract­ing pub­lic in­ter­est and sup­port for the path.

“This beau­ti­ful arched bridge has cap­tured the pub­lic imag­i­na­tion and its im­age, and the el­e­gance of the de­sign has helped sig­nif­i­cantly in the fundrais­ing for the project.”

“The way that the bridge was launched is thought to be unique. The bridge steel­work was con­structed on the bank, ca­bles were ten­sioned across the gap and the lead­ing edge of the bridge was drawn across, slid­ing on skids on the ca­bles. This most in­ge­nious method only took two hours and a tracked ex­ca­va­tor to get the bridge in place,” the judg­ing panel said.

De­signed by struc­tural and civil en­gi­neer­ing busi­ness Holmes Con­sult­ing, and built by Em­metts Civil Con­struc­tion, Perry Bridge is New Zealand’s first net­work arch bridge de­signed for pedes­tri­ans and cy­clists. The bridge is the long­est of all four net­work arch bridges in the coun­try.

Gen­eral man­ager of Brian Perry Char­i­ta­ble Trust, Jen­nifer Palmer, said it was re­ward­ing to see the bridge recog­nised on the na­tional, and in­ter­na­tional stage.

“It’s a credit not only to our amaz­ing de­sign and con­struc­tion teams — Em­metts and Holmes Group — but also to the work­ing group who turned the dream in a re­al­ity. That in­cludes Waikato District Coun­cil, NZTA, the Te Awa River Ride Trust and the dozens of fun­ders and other con­trib­u­tors — as well as the wider com­mu­nity who sup­ported this project from the very be­gin­ning,” Ms Palmer said.

The bridge fea­tures mo­saic art­works at each end de­signed by lo­cal schools on ei­ther side. Adding fur­ther lo­cal flavour, the colour scheme, pat­terned sur­fac­ing and light­ing were de­vel­oped with lo­cal artists to re­flect the themes and story of Te Awa path­way.

The Struc­tural Awards have been run­ning for more than 50 years and past win­ners in­clude the Syd­ney Opera House, the Lon­don Velo­drome, and the Pom­pi­dou Cen­tre in Paris.

The award win is the lat­est in a num­ber of ac­co­lades for en­gi­neer­ing de­sign ex­cel­lence and in­no­va­tive con­struc­tion be­hind Perry Bridge.

As well as a sil­ver award at the As­so­ci­a­tion for Con­sult­ing and En­gi­neer­ing Pro­fes­sion­als (ACENZ) In­no­vate Awards, the struc­ture also won a top hon­our at the New Zealand Bridge Awards ear­lier this month.

Photo / Sup­plied

The Perry Bridge looks just as good by night. The bridge is pow­ered off-grid by WEL Net­works which came up with the so­lu­tion. The power sup­ply con­sists of two 100-watt wind tur­bines and two 250-watt so­lar pan­els mounted on 7m high masts at the base of the bridge. A 9kwh bat­tery en­sures enough en­ergy is avail­able 24/7 to power the lights.

Photo / Tom Row­land

Peo­ple flocked to the open­ing of the bridge last Novem­ber.

Photo / Sup­plied Photo / Sup­plied

(Left): The Perry Bridge un­der con­struc­tion in 2017. The bridge has boosted num­bers on Te Awa — The Great River Ride.

Photo / Sup­plied

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