The Sydney Harbour Bridge cycleway northern access ramp project is on track to fill a critical gap in the cycling network.
The days of having to haul your bike up 55 steps from Milsons Point to reach the cycleway on the western side of the bridge may soon be over! And not a moment too soon for those keen to access the city with children, heavy e-bikes or cargo bikes.
Following an invited competition, three concept designs were exhibited for public feedback at the end of 2021. ASPECT Studios was announced as winner of the competition in February, delivering on the brief to develop an elegant linear bridge that respects the heritage of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, gives ‘physical form to the stories and movements of the Gadigal and Cammeraygal people’ and minimises the impact on Bradfield Park.
The winning design by ASPECT Studios from above, showing the gentle curve that allows the entrance of Milsons Point Station to breathe. (Source: ASPECT Studios)
Bicycle NSW has attended regular progress meetings with the design team and thanks Transport for NSW for setting up a transparent and collaborative design process.
Close consultation also continues with North Sydney Council, local resident groups, Heritage NSW, a Community and Bike User Group (CBUG) and indigenous advisory group Design Jam. Every 3 weeks, the team presents to the Design Integrity Panel overseen by the Government Architect, Abbie Galvan. There has been plenty of robust feedback to inform the design development.
‘It has been fascinating to see the designs evolve’ says Bicycle NSW CEO Peter McLean. ‘The ramp alignment has been refined to retain trees and ensure that important views of the bridge structure are not lost. Gradients will allow riders of all ages and abilities to climb the ramp while not allowing too much speed going down! Lighting will be carefully directed onto the ramp so that the existing uplighting of the bridge is not impacted’.
Particular care has been taken to resolve the area where the ramp meets the park, to minimise potential conflict between people walking and cycling. Landscaping and paving treatment will reinforce spaces for pedestrians and bike riders.
However, the integrity of the original competition design has been maintained. The team has reached the end of the concept stage, with 30% of the design work complete.
The Review of Environmental Factors is expected at the end of the year, and construction should commence early in 2023. The ramp will largely be pre-fabricated off-site to speed up the construction period.
Bicycle NSW can't wait to share all the design details very soon. We hope to be riding onto the bridge from North Sydney for the very first time in mid-2024!
For more information about ASPECT Studio's design and the project updates, visit the official consultation page.