Bridge project recognised

Cr Peter Murrihy and Ross George, Managing Director of Austeng with Aaron McGlade from COGG and Mahbube Subhani from Deakin. (Picture Mike Dugdale)

The peak body for engineering and public works in Australasia has recognised a project to deliver two bridges in North Geelong for innovation, excellence, and sustainability.

The bridges at Cowies Creek in Seagull Paddock were recognised with three awards and a commendation at the Institute of Public Works Engineers Australasia (IPWEA) Victorian Division awards last week.

Councillor Stephanie Asher said following the success of the first project, the Council is delivering another sustainable bridge at Seagull Paddock through a $500,000 investment outlined in its Proposed 2022-23 Draft Budget.

“The awards are well-earned recognition for the team who worked on the project, the suppliers who engaged with the City, and the innovative procurement process we used to make it happen,” Cr Asher said.

“The sustainable bridges are made from a world-first geopolymer designed to be maintenance-free for at least 100 years. The geopolymer is extremely long-lasting and uses up to 80 per cent less greenhouse gases in production than concrete.

“The bridges are made using recycled materials so it’s a great example of a circular economy solution in practice.”

The geopolymer for the bridges was created by a group of local companies and organisations working together: Austeng, Rocla, Inconmat and Deakin University.

The concept for the bridges came out of a ‘procurement for innovation’ process where companies were invited to research and develop a product to address the waste, maintenance and cost issues associated with traditional concrete and steel bridges.