Anzac Bridge redesign wins students the popular vote

23 August 2011

An innovative plan to tack two extra lanes onto the Anzac Bridge, allowing for pedestrians and light rail, has won two University of Sydney engineeringstudents the popular vote in a corporate engineering competition and $4000 each.

Jon van Rooyen and Marko Stankovic's redesign of the bridge proved the most popular entry in the inaugural Baulderstone National Icons Roadshow. The competition took artists' impressions of engineering redesigns of Australian icons built by the engineering firm on a national tour. Members of the public were invited to vote on their favourite entry.

The two Bachelor of Civil Engineering (Structures) students took up the project brief to run the State Government's proposed light rail extension across the Anzac Bridge. Marko and Jon ran two extra lanes either side of the existing bridge: one for light rail and the other for use as a dedicated pedestrian walkway.

The students proposed that two extra lanes be added to either side of the bridge for pedestrians and light rail.
The students proposed that two extra lanes be added to either side of the bridge for pedestrians and light rail.

By including the purpose-built pedestrian walkway, the shared cyclist and pedestrian lane could then be transformed into a dedicated cyclist lane, increasing safety and encouraging environmentally friendly transport options.

"We really enjoyed the challenge of finding lots of different constraints in the design that we hadn't thought about," Jon said.

"For example there's a big freighter that goes under the bridge to deliver concrete, so the bridge has to have a clearance of 27 metres. Traffic conditions were another big consideration, so what initially seemed to be quite a simple exercise actually turned out to be quite difficult.

"It's really great when the University collaborates with industry partners to get students involved in industry," said Jon.

"Being able to get hands on experience and meet with people working in industry has been an invaluable experience for us, and has definitely opened a lot of doors in terms of future career prospects. We were lucky enough to be able to meet CEOs and senior staff members from a range of companies and talk to them about what it's like to work in the industry."

Ian Luck, Baulderstone's Managing Director, said: "The winning students have done a wonderful job of putting forward interesting and creative ideas.

"I have personally met the students and have been incredibly impressed with their ideas and enthusiasm - I look forward to watching how their respective careers unfold in the coming years."

Jon and Marko's fellow civil engineering student Matthew Wells was also among the shortlisted seven teams, chosen by a panel at Baulderstone, whose entry toured the country.