When the Bunya sustainable community was conceived, one of its selling points was its integration with the Western Sydney Parklands. So a shared pedestrian and cycleway bridge across Eastern Creek (which divides the two) was an essential ingredient in its success.

Understandably, after carefully shaping the estate, UrbanGrowth NSW wanted no ordinary bridge. They wanted something as aesthetically pleasing as it was functional. Something interesting, that stood out and invited use.

For the bridge itself, we used a galvanised steel substructure and feature balustrade, combined with a timber decking made from select hardwood. We preassembled the entire structure offsite and installed it by crane.

Then came the artwork. Clouston Associates had a vision for something amazing that would mark the entry to the site: A stand of Entry Feature Marker Poles. It was up to Fleetwood to turn their vision into a reality.

We folded the main columns out of Corten steel and laminated mild steel to the inside faces. We painted the internal faces a vivid red but, in keeping with the design, left the outside faces raw. Then we used recycled timber beams to fashion the giant ‘fence post’ feature inserts that play counterpoint to the columns, and set them at different angles.

It’s also worth mentioning that because the bridge links the Bunya Estate to the Western Sydney Parklands, we needed to work closely with two different owners: UrbanGrowth NSW and the Western Sydney Parkland Trust (WSPT). In practice, this meant we developed excellent working relationships with the project architect, UrbanGrowth NSW’s superintendent and WSPT’s subcontract landscaper.

Despite the inherent complexities of the project, and its bespoke public art elements, we were able to deliver the expected quality of detail and finish, on time and to the project’s budget.