Safety Steps to a Fine Bridge

Safety Steps to a Fine Bridge

Sydney Airport Safely Spans the Canal

One of Australia’s largest infrastructure and civil contractors, Seymour Whyte, has commissioned Sydney’s SafeSmart Access to provide an unusual solution for portable access stairs.

As part of the Northern Airport Precinct Project in Sydney, a new road bridge featuring cyclist and pedestrian access has been built near the delta of the Cooks River and Alexandra Canal, linking Airport Drive to a new at-grade vehicle storage area.

With safety being a priority in any construction project, Seymour Whyte, in this instance, had a very important factor to consider – contractors working over deep water. To fully comply, the project needed a temporary access solution on both sides of the canal, for easy exit should a worker fall in.

Drop in, Walk Out – a Safe and Smart Solution

SafeSmart Access took all environmental concerns into account with this project. From onsite measuring and subsequent design to spec, some unique factors were present:

  • Higher than normal air pollution, being adjacent to the airport.
  • Salty water originating from Botany Bay.
  • Steeply-pitched man-made concrete canal wall, susceptible to slipperiness, especially post-rain and presence of moss.
  • Rise and fall of tides.

The Customised Result

SafeSmart designed and constructed two sets of portable stairs, which could be quickly secured to a flat anchor point at the top of the canal wall.

For durability and longevity, the products were made from high-quality T6 marine grade aluminium, to resist corrosion from salt water and air pollution; the stairs have been placed alongside the bridge project for around a year with no signs of rust.

The pitch angle of the wall was taken into consideration when designing treads, to make sure they were completely horizontal underfoot after installation. And the length of the stairs, as measured from the top of the canal wall to the water’s surface was specified to be long enough to be accessed from a submerged position when the canal was at low tide.

A Relationship Built

 With no fuss, a professional process and knowledge of civil infrastructure needs, SafeSmart has now acquired a happy client with potential for more project partnerships such as this.

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