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EGB123 Civil Engineering Systems



Structural engineering investigation is an important concept in the development of structures within the industry. The process of investigating structural components can be only executed by trained structural engineers of different capacities assigning different roles to each other so as to achieve optimum results. Structural engineering investigation can be defined as the utilization of the various engineering sciences to the examination of performance problem or failure issues and is highly particular field engineering as far as designing practice is concerned. It requires designing mastery and learning of lawful systems. From an engineering point of view, structural engineering investigation manages the examination and recreation of disappointments. From a lawful point of view, criminological building is a reality discovering mission to take in the most reasonable justification or reasons for a disappointment ("Kurilpa Bridge", 2018).

The structure under investigation in this particular case was the Kurilpa Bridge. It is one of the first tensegrity cycle and pedestrian bridge in the World. Using cables arranged in an artistic array in combination with steel bars that were flying in nature, the elegant corridor gives the quality and firmness required for the 425 meter long scaffold to traverse the beautiful Brisbane River. The bridge extension interfaces the Precinct new Millennium Arts to the city centre area including the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) and the State Library. The bridge gives labourers from the fast growing West and South End Brisbane regions with a shielded and comfortable drive to the city centre region; and contributes modest entrance to occupants and guests to the vacation and social destinations in those areas of the country (Go?hler & Pearson, 2000, p. 21).

The bridge incorporated several design concepts hence the need to work as a team. Working as a team during the investigation will enable investigation of the possible materials and forms that were used in the construction of the bridge. Also, the geometrical limitations that the construction of the bridge was exposed to will be investigated. The team would also assign tasks to investigate the fundamentals for leeway found above the waterway and the roads in which the northern methodology navigates. These limitations managed the base of the underside of the structure of the bridge, and the most extreme of the scaffold’s level deck, successfully necessitating the general profundity of the structure underneath deck’s top level which was to be controlled to a height not more than 1m.

Figure 1: Picture showing the suspension of the Kurilpa Bridge


The aim of the investigation was to the possible performance problems that the bridge might experience in the future through careful analysis of the design concept applied and the materials used.


The team will work in stages to ensure the following objectives are achieved:

  • To critically analyse the design concept to be able to foresee any future possible failures
  • To critically analyse materials used to be able to foresee the performance of the bridge
  • To be able to establish the protection measures applied to protect the bridge from corrosion due to environmental factors
  • To be able to analyse the challenges and risks experienced during construction

Scope and Limitations

The scope of this structural engineering investigation is very clear and precise. The study aims at analysing the unique risks and challenging factors that were experienced during construction. Also, the study aims to analyse the design solutions that were applied in this project and the materials used. Lastly, the investigation is keen on the amount that was used for constructing the bridge and its viability to the economy ("Kurilpa Bridge", 2018). The investigation is limited to some aspects through. The investigation will not discuss in details the environmental impacts of the bridge to the environment. Notably, different teams will tackle different scopes depending on the technical knowledge and experience.

Sources of Information

The sources of information used were revised journal articles, books, online journals among others done by structural engineers about the Kurilpa Bridge.

Structural System Investigation [5 page limit]

About the Bridge Structure

The purpose of the bridge was to mainly interlink the new Millennium Arts Precinct and the city centre area including the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) and the State Library as a whole. The bridge gives labourers from the quickly growing South and West End Brisbane regions with a sheltered and advantageous drive to the city centre area; and gives simple access to occupants and guests to the social and vacation destinations of South Bank ("Kurilpa Bridge", 2018). Notably, the bridge’s construction was key and fundamental in that it was to introduce a new standard in the design industry as well as the construction filed I the entire Queensland, and both internationally as well as nationally.

The bridge was designed based on the conditions on site and the client’s instructions. There were also shortcomings which were to be considered when developing the frame for the bridge. The designers had to devise another frame that consolidated the build ability and shallow basic deck of pole and link structures without grand mast structures (Go?hler & Pearson, 2000, p. 19). Having been motivated by Buckminster Fuller's theory of tensegrity structures and the crafting works of Kenneth Slessor, a feasible what's more, proficient auxiliary shape based around an inventive course of action of cables and masts was created.  This tensegrity plan did not only just help in achieving the building of a shallow, light but long lasting bridge across Brisbane river, but also the unconventional nature of the creative poles and cables which helped give an extraordinary standard but fundamentally important concept in construction ("Kurilpa Bridge", 2018).

In basic terms, this specific bridge can be thought of as two entwined structures: a changed adaptation of a regular link stayed bridge structure involving a progression of amazed masts and real links that, related to the 6.5m clear width composite steel and solid deck ranges between the help wharfs; and a genuine tensegrity exhibit of pressure swaggers (competes) and auxiliary links that along the side balance out the poles, give torsional unbending nature to the scaffold ranges, and bolster the coordinated overhang that gives shade to connect clients (International Conference of Chinese Transportation Professionals, Wei, & American Society of Civil Engineers, 2010, p. 6).

Generally, the bridge involves three primary areas each utilizing distinctive basic frameworks. The bridge consist of the 120m long point approach ramp that is strengthened and mande of reinforced concrete. The ramp structure includes seven ranges that are of maximum length 20m upheld on fortified solid cutting or reinforced concrete edge piers (Gostelow, 2018, p110). The deck cross area decreases as from focal of 780mm profound spine up to 280mm profound edges.

Basically this range organization is roughly adjusted dispensing with the requirement for enormous projections and enabling the tensegrity structure to be developed by means of an adjusted cantilever method. The weight that was within the bridge above the vast water lengths is counteracted by applying tie downs at the external finishes of the side of the bridge. Bolster focuses flanking the navigational channel are more traditional with fortified cement bent sharp edge docks on pilecaps in the stream. At every one of these areas perpetual shake stays secure the solid filled tubular steel heaps to oppose the plan send affect powers (Queensland, 2010, p. 7).

The 6.5m clear width deck structure contains a fortified solid piece produced using full profundity precast boards joined by solid lines which are upheld by and act compositely with a progression of auxiliary steel cross shafts. Reason outlined precast deck boards are commonly 4.9m long and 3.4m wide with board profundity changing somewhere in the range of 200mm and 250mm (ASCE International Workshop on Computing in Civil Engineering, In Brilakis, In Lee, In Becerik-Gerber, & American Society of Civil Engineers, 2013, p. 15). The boards fuse cast-in fixings for balustrades, electrical and water powered administrations conductors and discounts for recessed light fittings. Cross pillars are moved steel I areas commonly 530mm profound associated with the solid deck by headed steel shear studs.

The cross bars are bolstered by longitudinal edge bars which are suspended by a progression of poles and links. The edge bars are manufactured steel box areas regularly 900mm profound and 450mm ("Kurilpa Bridge", 2018). There are various loads types that the bridge was to endure and were given utmost priority during the design stages. The structures were fabricated with the most detailed and precise design in order for the bridge to able to sustain the weight it was to be subjected to. The exceptional coordinated effort between contractors, design engineers, erectors and fabricators and the vital attention that was given to designs and site conditions enabled the team to complete the project and deliver within a period of six months with completely no design error (Queensland, 2010, p. 18).

Throughout the process of material obtainment, fabrication and erection was a pivotal point of the detailed structural plan of the bridge’s steelwork. The following factors were to be brainstormed about and considered for successful construction of the bridge:

  • An  all-around requested erection progression and logic was delivered in exchange with the fabricator and erector. The required pre-set connection lengths and post and edge bar lengths were set out to ensure that when all people were raised at the correct length (with versatility reward considered) and in the foreordained course of action, the basic reaches would end up at satisfaction in the correct position with all connections prestressed without anyone else weight of the augmentation (Gostelow, 2018, p. 45). This system avoided the prerequisite for the 'on-the-fly' changes that are ordinarily required by customary erection techniques
  • The places which were off the racks were to be used as endplate projections and associations. There are places upon which the tubes and created boxes were used. These structures were to be manufactured off the accessible plates.
  • There was need for consideration of all the aspects to be considered to help in establishing the two parts of the bridge established on the cantilever structure. The cantilevers had to be coordinated to be able to drop and connect when required to.

Structural Design Drivers

The structural design drivers while working on the Kurilpa Bridge were completely new since this was the first time that such a bridge was being done in the industry. The following design considerations were considered throughout the process:

  • Engineering design of the creative and complex structure included modern and thorough non-straight investigations at each phase of the erection (Geotechnical and Structural Engineering Congress et al., 2016, p. 7).
  • Static and dynamic basic investigations complex in nature was embraced to affirm sufficient quality and firmness and wind burrow testing to comprehend wind impacts (Wium, 2008, p. 49).
  • Close joint effort among the bridge constructors and designers empowered the need for the bridge to be able to be cantilevered out from both sides where there lied strong docks to support the sides of the bridge ("Kurilpa Bridge", 2018).
  • The unusualness of the riverside wharf to the bearing of the extension required a turned dock design, permitting a 400mm freedom between the wharf and Riverside Expressway.

Integration Considerations

The Kurilpa Bridge arrangement expected to fight with a couple of peculiar challenges. Of these, the most formative was the circumstance of the navigational channel turning away plunge of the structure until the point that it crossed the southern stream bank. Simply the tensegrity structure restricted the deck thickness satisfactorily with the true objective that the slant down did not eat up Kurilpa Park, indispensable as a city space and to Aboriginal people. The arrangement moreover endeavoured to address the correspondingly complex trouble of navigating the South East Freeway, and in end it facilitated the required relentless sanctuary inside its structure (Zerayohannes, Gebreyouhannes, & Zekaria-Abdullahi, 2017, p. 36).


The team built up a superstructure erection philosophy in light of adjusted cantilever erection from each of the two waterway docks, utilizing exact length segments (checked and balanced if vital before establishment. This imaginative methodology evacuated the need to make any post-establishment acclimations to any basic segments, yet required that the development organize examination be extraordinarily precise and intensive. Indeed reason composed programming was produced to permit a large number of segments to be put under test and properties checked. The exactness of this design was exhibited by the two landing planes of the bridge coming into contact with each other in the month of May 2009.

With an uncommon assistant edge, each piece of the arrangement and erection process must be made, refined and streamlined, and after that totally explored and attempted. In extension to normal assistant building, the essential design process included careful testing which ensured that the meticulously made game plan out of thousands of pre-amassed precast strong, steel and connection parts would fit together, with all parts of the completed structure in the correct theoretical position, and each connection precisely pretension by the weight of the structure. Steel gave the propriety required to address the sharp development and improvement issues (Beck & Cooper, 2012, p. 34). The classy issues spun around conveying a lightweight and slimline structure that appeared to skim. The tensegrity sort of the expansion especially required that capable weight people should be made to look like they are skimming in thin air which held by strands of Spiral Bridge thin in nature. Steel furthermore gave the slimline affect in the deck required to achieve the various physical constraints in the one of a kind brief, for instance, crossing the Riverside interstate, North Quay and the Brisbane River and keeping up the base vehicle and ocean movement envelopes required without obstacle. The accuracy and profitability of the fundamental building setup was a vital supporter to the accomplishment of the endeavour, including the assistant authority the exactness and adequacy of the helper plan.

Governance and Values Considerations

The bridge was built after all the government values were pursued and all design considerations fulfilled. The design had to collaborate with the department of Public Works so as to get all the approvals to do the construction.

Engineering Systems Interrelationships

The bridge was built to enjoy mutual relation with the civil structures that are located around it. For instance, the Evolution Apartments are situated in Tank Street, contiguous the Kurilpa Bridge and near the Brisbane River ("Kurilpa Bridge", 2018). Architect known as Cottee Parker composed this private pinnacle to take full preferred standpoint of the site's outstanding perspectives along two compasses of the Brisbane River. Also, the architectural team planned Luxury flats with far reaching glass overhangs and connected with the craftsman, Carl Warner, to react to the riverine condition and make a work of art for the outside veneer.

Conclusions and Recommendations

Summary of remarks of your investigation

Investigating the design process of the Kurilpa Bridge was vital in adding knowledge to the engineering industry. Through the investigation, the tem would expand on the knowledge that was applied in constructing the bridge as well as expound on the detailed design process. Kurilpa Bridge is an innovate bridge which is constructive from light materials in a creative way. Steel was creatively used to help establish a connection between the arts precinct and Brisbane city centre with no design failure accommodated (Li & Xu, 2013, p. 13). The bridge was subjected to rigorous experimentation and testing explaining the reason as to why any future failures were not anticipated.

Also, the design of the bridge was outstanding thus it set a new standard in the world. The bridge became a sparkling case of world class imaginative design – another symbol for Brisbane that gives a key association from the city to Brisbane's exceedingly granted expressions, social and relaxation area. The expansion of a DMX controlled lighting framework gives stupendous lighting to uncommon broad celebrations or occasions. The Bridge is considered a public art with fitting piece status aptly positioned close by the shocking engineering of the modern art in the construction industry ("Kurilpa Bridge", 2018). The completion of the bridge has participated in driving the world in the design, coordination and construction and design of cyclists and pedestrian bridges. Due to the design concepts applied, people have been able to improve the designs and come up with better options.

As a world's first bridge of that kind, the works of the designers of this specific bridge has helped secure Australia, Queensland and Brisbane on the world stage as far as plan and development is concerned. Several designers in the industry of construction have borrowed from this concept and constantly inquired on how to do similar designs.  Notably, the complexities of working on a world-first project such as this particular bridge usually requires with all stakeholders including the design engineers, fabricators, erectors, contractors and public works department (Beck & Cooper, 2012, p. 27). Such relationship empowers the parties involved in the construction to deliver a unique and new project which was complex on time and within the budgeted plan to the most astounding conceivable benchmarks.

Engineering systems context in inner urban environments

There are a lot of development works that happen in the urban environment that involves engineers. Structural engineers are key in establishing structures that are better designed, more cost effective and quite efficient in terms of performance. Structural engineers are important in advising the setting up of structures that will withstand the load exerted on the structure as well as the adverse environmental conditions without failing ("Kurilpa Bridge", 2018).

Observations of structural and broader civil engineering professional practice in inner urban environments

Structural engineering fits into the broader civil engineering in that it brings about the concept of design that considers the load to be subjected onto a structure and the strength the support needs in order to sustain the load. Therefore, as civil engineer would advise the material to be used to sustain a given load (Keil, 2013, p. 45). Structural engineer is essential in deriving the hydraulic calculations that will help in deciding the dimensions and nature of the structure to be used to support a load. Therefore, during the investigation, there is need for experts with various knowledge on structural engineering, civil engineering and material science among others (Geotechnical and Structural Engineering Congress et al., 2016).

Observations for those embarking on a profession in civil engineering

Structural engineering as a specialization of civil engineering is very essential in the construction industry. Any student intending to pursue structural engineering must be able to have an innovative and creative mind.  The student must be keen to details and smart in calculations since a lot of calculations are involved ("Kurilpa Bridge", 2018).  The student must widely engage and read design concepts so as to be able to apply already researched knowledge. Also, the student must be good in team work as the specialization involves working with other experts to actualize the unique designs generated.


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