New pedestrian link set to bridge the divide and boost connectivity at Port Adelaide

A multi-million-dollar footbridge will be constructed across Port Adelaide’s Dock One, creating a key connection for residents of a new housing development flanking both sides of the dock.

Renewal SA has released a tender for the design and construction of the bridge that will link two sides of Kite Projects’ 750-home master-planned community. The tender calls for an innovative concept design that has both ‘wow factor’ and sympathy to the surrounding heritage of the port.

Dock One is set to deliver a significant housing boost in Adelaide’s west and support the future high-skilled worker population – to be based near Port Adelaide – following the historic AUKUS agreement in which South Australia secured the nuclear-powered submarine project.

The 80m bridge – to be located at the western end of Dock One – is set to drive pedestrian activity across the entire inner harbour, creating a seamless link from Port Adelaide’s retail heart and key community assets through to the emerging maritime heritage precinct at Dock 2.

From the bridge, a new 8m-wide waterfront promenade, delivered by Kite Projects, will wrap around the eastern side of the Port River and under the Port River Expressway to the City of Adelaide Clipper Ship, a popular tourist attraction which was moved to Dock 2 in 2019.

The $5 million bridge, which is expected to take on a Kaurna name, will cater for both cyclists and pedestrians, including people with a disability, and offer good connections to public transport along St Vincent Street.

The tender stipulates that the bridge will need to provide enough clearance for small vessels such as dinghies and kayaks to pass underneath. The bridge’s design, including materials, scale and colour palette will also need to be cognisant of the immediate surrounds so not to compromise the views of the port for existing and future waterfront residents.

The bridge will be jointly funded by Renewal SA and Kite Projects.

Renewal SA Project Director Vince Rigter said thanks to partnerships with the private sector, Port Adelaide’s potential to evolve into a contemporary mixed-use urban centre was finally being realised.

“As the agency responsible for the revitalisation of Port Adelaide and the development of 40 hectares of government-owned waterfront land, Renewal SA has been working closely with key stakeholders to get early consensus on the bridge,” Mr Rigter said.

“The outcome for the community will be greater connectivity throughout the entire Port Adelaide area.”

Minister for Housing and Urban Development Nick Champion said the Port precinct was undergoing a rapid transformation and putting the right infrastructure in place to support its growing population was vital.

“This is even more important off the back of this week’s momentous announcement that South Australia will build nuclear-powered submarines in the State – in the heart of the Port Adelaide area,” Minister Champion said. “The Dock One housing project, connected by this new bridge, is a big win for a community already experiencing significant change.”

Deputy Premier and Member for Port Adelaide Susan Close said the bridge project would support Port Adelaide to become an even more accessible and attractive place to live.

“Connecting both sides of the dock not only benefits residents living on the waterfront, it opens up the entire area to the wider community,” she said.

Port Adelaide Enfield Council Deputy Mayor, Vanessa Tulloch, said she was confident the new bridge would strike the right balance between simplicity, structurally efficiency and aesthetics, and provided an excellent placemaking opportunity.

“We cannot wait to explore the architectural merit of the concepts submitted and hope the final design will be one that adds to the vibrancy of the port,” Ms Tulloch said. “We know this bridge has the exciting potential to make a bold statement and function as a standalone attraction, whilst still referencing elements like arches, box trusses and flat forms synonymous with past and existing bridges in Port Adelaide.

“Port Adelaide is happening, and innovative projects like this that connect areas together in a functional way are just what we need to ensure that we continue momentum in making the Port a prime South Australian destination.”

Kite Projects Managing Director Damon Nagel said the bridge and surrounding public realm would draw its twin residential communities to the water.

“Dock One offers the unique opportunity to live within one of the last underdeveloped waterfront dock areas in Australia,” Mr Nagel said. “The bridge provides further accessibility for residents and the wider community to enjoy it.”

Pending approvals, construction of the Dock One Pedestrian Bridge is scheduled to commence in the first half of 2024 and be operational by the end of that year. This is expected to coincide with Stage 4 civil and building works of the Dock One residential development.

Tenders for the bridge close on 30 March with the contract to design and construct expected to be awarded mid-year.