Bridges

Cover of Bridge Aesthetics-Design guidelines to improve the appearance of bridges in NSW
Bridge Aesthetics-Design guidelines to improve the appearance of bridges in NSW
  • Publication no: ABC-DES005-11
  • Published: 31 October 2011

In 2004 the Roads and Traffic Authority of New South Wales published Bridge Aesthetics. It was prepared by the RTA’s bridge designers, urban designers and the NSW Government Architect. Seven years on the RTA has built over 500 new bridges of different types, at different scales, in different urban and rural contexts and under different contractual types – all in accordance with the guideline. Many lessons, both good and bad, have been learnt and new issues have arisen. In the light of this, the RTA has reviewed and updated its guideline. This paper in summarising the guideline, argues for a commitment to aesthetics, puts forward key design values including sustainability and outlines the principles of design that need to be considered at the level of the ‘Whole’, the ‘Parts’ and the ‘Details’. The importance of design methodology, of collaboration in the design team and of capturing aesthetic requirements in the tender and delivery phases is also stressed. Backed by examples it shows how aesthetics can be successfully integrated with the science and practice of engineering to create an enduring and context sensitive result for the community.