Parramatta is being targeted for a diagonal arch pedestrian and cyclist bridge, anticipated as the first of its kind to be designed and constructed in Australia.

Designed by Archipelago Architecture & Urban Design and Lat27 landscape architects, the proposed 80-metre by 4.5-metre Albert Street Bridge will cross the Parramatta River, connecting Parramatta’s CBD and Western Sydney University.

“The significance of this infrastructure project as an important urban design initiative goes well beyond its basic function as a bridge,” says Adam Guernier, director and founder of Archipelago.

“We quickly understood that the project represented a significant opportunity to create an urban gateway into the city along the Parramatta River as well as between [the] neighbourhoods on either side of the river.

“This opportunity led us to the early development of a diagonal arch concept, where the deck of the bridge threads through the arch on a slight angle to the vertical plane of the arch. [The] simple manoeuvre creates an arched gateway that addresses both north-south pedestrian traffic as well as east-west riverine traffic.”

At its highest point, the diagonal arch will stand 30 metres above the river’s high-water mark. Both ends of the bridge visually align with their corresponding streets, orienting pedestrians and cyclists towards open public space.

At the southern end, an opening under the bridge deck has been included to ensure the existing riverside path can be extended along the river foreshore to the CBD. Across the bridge at its northern end, the bridge divides into a staircase to the west and a gently sloping ramp down to the foreshore path.

“The bridge will be both practical and stylish,” says Andrew Wilson, Parramatta’s lord mayor.

“It will help connect Western Sydney University’s Rydalmere campus with the CBD, further enhance our city’s ever-growing cycling and walking network, and support the higher density living in that area by providing direct access to the proposed light rail stop on Tramway Avenue.”

The City of Parramatta Council is currently seeking community feedback on the design of the diagonal bridge, which will be accepted until Saturday 28 October.