Ronstan Tensile Architecture was engaged by Lendlease Services to manufacture and supply a safety barrier system for the Bolte Bridge in Melbourne, Australia.

Considered a city landmark, Bolte Bridge is the largest balanced cantilever cast in situ box girder bridge in Australia. Designed by Denton Corker Marshall and constructed by Baulderstone Hornibrook for Transurban, the bridge links Melbourne’s West Gate, Monash and Tullamarine Freeways.

The bridge has two main spans of 173 metres and two side spans of 72 metres extending an additional 430 metres to the south and 4080 metres to the north. The overall bridge length of 5000 metres places it amongst the longest bridges in Australia.

The brief for the safety barrier sought a system that would span approximately 550 metres along each side of the bridge where it crossed the Yarra River. The system comprised of 246 modular hot dipped galvanised frames, each filled with Ronstan Carl Stahl X-Tend stainless steel mesh of 2.0mm diameter wire formed into a 70mm mesh aperture.

Ronstan Tensile Architecture completed the manufacture within a very challenging period of three weeks ahead of Christmas 2017. Lendlease Services engaged Tensys Engineers to work in collaboration with Ronstan and other project stakeholders to design the tensioned mesh structure that would serve as a functional safety barrier as well as conform to strict structural and architectural parameters. 

Installed by Lendlease Services, the safety barrier resolves the tension forces of the mesh within the frames, and poses no additional loads onto the bridge other than the self-weight of the panels and the impact of wind. The use of Ronstan Carl Stahl X-Tend stainless steel mesh on the safety barrier also ensures transparency, with little impact on views of the bridge from afar and within.