The Sydney Skytrain Bridge, along with the other supporting civil works for Sydney Metro Northwest, designed by SMEC and built by Salini Impregilo was dubbed the 2018 Project of the Year by US industry magazine Engineering News-Record.
The Skytrain Bridge project first began in 2014. The first phase was the erection of the viaduct, next its spans, and then the bridge itself.
A first in Australia, the Skytrain Bridge is a curved bridge with a cable-stayed structure. It has two towers that are each 45 meters high, with 16 pipes holding cables that attach it to the bridge deck. The bridge deck itself is made up of 88 concrete segments that weigh anywhere from 70 to 140 tonnes each.
The thought that went into how the bridge was constructed and its design earned it the Project of the Year award.
A statement on the magazine’s website reads, «(Sydney Metro Northwest SVC Contract, an) elegant and sustainable rail project utilizing innovative construction techniques was selected.”
Mr. Pecora Lauria, the Design and Technical Manager for Salini Impregilo Australia, explained that the Skytrain is aesthetically modern and slim, an iconic piece of infrastructure for Sydney’s suburbs. He says, “We used light concrete and applied some coatings to shade the elements of the bridge to aesthetically compete with steel. The project has been a remarkable success thanks to excellent collaboration across the entire supply chain, subcontractors and the client.”
The environmental impact was an important aspect of both the construction, design and purpose of the Skytrain Bridge. There were strict sustainability requirements in the construction of it, and the 4 kilometer Skytrain will stretch between Bella Vista and Rouse Hill to make transportation much more efficient. It has also led to a job boom in the northwest of Sydney with 4000 workers+ on site, including international workers with people hailing from 50 countries. Safety was prioritized, with the lost-time injury rate at 0.1.
The Skytrain in Australia is the first phase of something much larger: the $8.3 billion Sydney Metro Northwest project, which will be the first automated metro rail system in Australia. Sydney Metro Northwest will run for 436 kilometers, with 13 metro stations and 4,000 commuter car spaces. Throughout Sydney, high-density areas will be properly connected via public transport due to the Sydney Metro Northwest project. It will make transportation more efficient, lessen the necessity for vehicle ownership, get more cars off the roads, reduces air pollution, and improve quality of life for everyone. This service is appreciated, but also necessary due to the significant population growth forecasted for the upcoming decades
NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance explained that the major milestone for the project, the trial run for the automated train, “is akin to the first car being on the Harbour Bridge.”
The first section of the Skytrain Bridge has been completed and Sydney Metro Northwest is still set to open in the first half of 2019 and on budget. This will be the first stage for the Sydney Metro project in its entirety.