Riverbank Precinct Pedestrian Bridge


Customer: Department for Infrastructure and Transport

Contract type:  Early Contractor Involvement/D&C

Location: Adelaide, SA

Fast Facts

  • 255 metres long
  • 8 metres wide
  • 3000 unique glass panels
  • Highest pumped free-falling waterfall in Australia
  • World's first bridge to use a bespoke cassette system over entire soffit 

Designed and constructed by McConnell DOwell, the Riverbank Pedestrian Bridge is a unique and highly architectural structure – a curved, sloping, asymmetrical, post tensioned concrete bridge clad in sleek white glass, located in the heart of Adelaide’s arts precinct. 

Boasting a number of Australian and international ‘firsts’, the bridge has quickly become one of Adelaide’s most iconic structures. The scope of works also included an upgrade to parts of the Adelaide Festival Centre as well as upgrades to War Memorial Drive and Festival Drive.

One of the most unusual aspects of the Riverbank Pedestrian Bridge’s design was the asymmetry of the structure. The architect’s vision required an asymmetrical triangular cross-section, a horizontally curved alignment and tilted/asymmetrical V piers. The need to achieve a very slender deck and accommodate the complex geometry, tight construction tolerances, imbalanced forces and thermal effects on different materials posed many challenges for the design and construction teams.

The Solution

Extraordinary consideration was given to fabrication and construction methods; each element of the main bridge structure was modelled in 3D, ensuring that every corner, level change and interface was drawn, understood and error-checked so that construction proceeded seamlessly.

Key to Success

The project had multiple interfaces with local businesses, traffic, arts and community events, and adjacent projects. Excellent communications and proactive scheduling were integral to meeting the project’s ambitious timeframe.

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