Jim Stynes Bridge

Melbourne’s newest iconic bridge was opened and dedicated to the city’s adopted son, footballer and philanthropist, Jim Stynes. 

The Jim Stynes Bridge is the centrepiece of the $25 million redevelopment of the Yarra's north bank. The bridge has an innovative design that creates the illusion the span is hovering, unsupported above the Yarra River and has a strong visual presence along the river with striking design. 

It plays an essential role in the animation of the Yarra and the Northbank of the city through its physical, visual, and programmatic integration whilst providing an important link from Northbank to Docklands.

This high-profile public project required extensive engagement and consultation with a number of key stakeholders including the Department of Planning and Community Development, the City of Melbourne, Heritage Victoria, and Bicycle Victoria.

From a construction perspective, the bridge had significant challenges. 

One of which, was the innovative and slender cantilever style, shape and construction profile. This required high strength steel materials which were procured from overseas due to the non-availability within Australia. 

These plates were cut, shaped and welded together to form the relative bridge components. No piece was available "off the shelf", thus necessitating specialist skills which in essence required the bridge to be completely built off site to ensure adequate tolerances and fit.

Another challenge of the project was that the bridge modules had to be individually temporarily supported, via steel piles, beams tension cables effectively suspended the bridge until all modules were connected, till the whole length of the bridge was assembled, installed with the anchor rods/cords being tensioned to operating levels, before release.  

Installation of the bridge was also complicated with the new bridge passing directly underneath the existing Charles Grimes Bridge where very low headroom was available. Due to this, normal bridge installation techniques could not be considered, which resulted in the modules being floated into positioned and lifted via a number of chains blocks attached to the temporary pile beam structure previously mentioned. 

Due to its very nature of steel superstructure construction, dampers were designed, manufactured and installed to ensure the bridge performed within acceptable limits during loading.

To enhance the feeling of the bridge hovering over the Yarra river, a "waving" central positioned chair was constructed that not only allows the community to sit and admire the scenery, it also provided a barrier to the timber decking where pedestrian commuted and the washed exposed surface precast deck panel which provide a pathway for bicycles. 

The Jim Stynes bridge was Finalist on the Landscape Project of the Year, World Architecture Festival Awards 2014, received Australian Institute of Architects' 2015 Victorian architecture award and finalist in the Institution of Structural Engineers 2015 Structural Awards.

In all, a new landmark bridge for the City of Melbourne.

Video courtesy Aurecon and Cox Architecture

Jim Stynes Bridge
Jim Stynes Bridge
Jim Stynes Bridge