After lengthy delays with an overseas subcontractor, it has been announced that the architect-designed Swan River Pedestrian Bridge in Perth will still be going ahead. Instead of being manufactured overseas, however, the bridge will be constructed locally.

The slender, undulating footbridge was initially revealed in 2015, when it was stated that the estimated completion date was for 2016. However, the design – a collaboration between Denton Corker Marshall and Parry and Rosenthal Architects – faced a number of delays with a Toyota Tsusho entity, who were originally chosen to construct the steel deck and arch components in Malaysia.

The Western Australian government has now pushed back the completion date of the Swan River Pedestrian Bridge to March 2018, after renegotiating its contract with head contractor, York Rizzani.

The delays haven’t come without their additional costs. When first announced, the bridge was estimated to cost $54 million (which subsequently rose to $70 million). The new plan adds another $13 million on top of this, with an additional $2.6 million estimated if the completion date is reached.

The 400-metre long, nine-metre-wide bridge will deliver pedestrian and cyclist access over the river. It was also act as a link between East Perth and the new Perth Stadium by Hassell, Cox Architecture and HKS – a project that is currently under construction.


Designs for the Swan River Pedestrian Bridge show a narrow structure that is articulated by black and white arches, that intersect and create the illusion of rolling, monochromatic hills. When completed, the bridge will reach 65 metres at its highest point.


In the interests of achieving a sensitive footprint, the design sees only two piers situated in the water. This design decision was a gesture of respect for the area’s heritage, and an attempt to minimise the structure’s impact on the Swan riverbed. 

Two landscaped ‘pause points’ will provide shade and shelter to the 14,000 people who are expected to use the bridge on event days. At night, the tensile membrane skin over the curving masts will be backlit with LED lights. 

Images: Denton Corker Marshall