Spotlight on West Gate Bridge


Next up on our tour through the AWD archives is our award-winning suspended access platforms for the strengthening of the West Gate Bridge in Melbourne, Australia.



In 2009, the $347 million project to strengthen and repair the iconic West Gate Bridge began in Melbourne, Australia. Working with our client APS Ltd, we designed a suspended access system which provided full bridge access and safe workspaces, while also allowing the bridge to remain open to 170,000 vehicles per day for the duration of the project.



We designed 14 Technitruss modular space frame access platforms of varying dimensions and configurations to give workers access to all the external areas of the 58m high bridge. Our platforms created expansive suspended working space of more than 5,500m² for the carbon fire installation works.


AWD West Gate Bridge Suspended Access Platforms


We also designed special articulated ‘V’ shaped platforms which followed the shape of the bridge soffit to give access to the full underside of the bridge.

The platforms were placed at various locations along the full length of the 2.5 km bridge and were designed to include remote working facilities including:

  • working decks
  • messing facilities
  • storage areas
  • generators, water sources & toilets

This meant workers could remain on the platforms for their full shift, dramatically enhancing the efficiency of the project. 


AWD West Gate Bridge Access Engineering


Our platforms were suspended on chains from the cantilever beams of the bridge, which were connected to runway beams mounted on the platform, meaning the platforms could be easily moved into new positions along the bridge to allow work to progress quickly on the project.


Our platform designs won the Institution of Structural Engineers Structural Award for Small Practices in 2011:

"The West Gate Bridge Suspended Access Platforms represent an example of structural engineering design at its best. A clear understanding of the problem and its constraints, tackled by inventive and imaginative thinking, resulted in a practical, eminently workable solution.” - Judges’ Comments


Discover more about our other projects here.

West Gate Bridge Access Platforms AWD.jpg