Keeping pedestrians safe on Melbourne's landmark bridge

Cardno, now Stantec, was tasked by the City of Melbourne to provide a safety design to protect pedestrians from hostile vehicles on Princes Bridge, Melbourne's oldest and grandest bridge.

Princes Bridge was built in 1886 and is an extension of Swanston Street connecting to St Kilda Road, crossing the Yarra River. 

Over 130 years old, Princes Bridge is an iron girder arch bridge with a metal decking structure and concrete/asphalt overlay.  Cardno collaborated with council landscape architects and heritage consultants to provide a fit for purpose design with low maintenance whilst blending in with the landscape.

Due to shallow pavements, concrete blocks were adopted for the design as these provided minimum additional loading to the existing structure whilst maintaining pedestrian permeability when parades are held. 

Along with the installation of the blocks, the existing footpath structure was reconstructed and provided with waterproofing remediation to further protect the substructure.

In consultation with Heritage Victoria, a precast concrete block was adopted, increasing pedestrian safety from vehicles entering the footpath.

The team were faced with several challenges when tackling the design including the underground services and heritage protection requirements on this historical landmark in Melbourne.

Princes Bridge is one of many risk mitigation upgrades provided by Cardno for the City of Melbourne, helping to make Melbourne City one of the safest cities in the world.