Case Study

Matagarup Bridge

Building a New Perth Icon

Purple Matagarup Bridge case study

Engagement the key to bridge’s success

Perth’s Matagarup Bridge links the entertainment precinct at Burswood Peninsula with East Perth and the City.

It’s an incredible feat of engineering, showcasing sophisticated design and WA workmanship. As the planning and construction came together, Purple was a core part of the team, managing the complex stakeholder relationships that are a feature of any large-scale infrastructure project.

Purple Matagarup Bridge case study

The challenge

Closing the river affects everyone. Stakeholders potentially impacted by the construction spanned the full range of cultural, environmental, commercial and recreational interests.

Still, it had to be done.

To build the bridge required over-water construction, moving mammoth sections of assembled steel. This meant completely closing 600m of the Swan River to all vessels, including commercial ferry operators, for more than two months.

And as construction advanced, an Australian-first series of dynamic tests were needed to meet the engineering requirements for public access. The events required the recruitment and activation of more than 1,200 people for the first stage, and then a specialist group to carry out synchronised exercises.

Our approach

We listened and we learned. To succeed in this complex project, we created a schedule of engagement that allowed us to work with all stakeholders. This included face-to-face consultation and negotiation with the Whadjuk Working Party, local resident groups, local governments, regulators, neighbouring enterprises, institutions and special interest groups.

We coordinated and delivered tailored management packages to assist commercial operators affected by the river closure, which included establishing alternative points of business and coordinating services to facilitate ongoing operations.

We also encouraged community interest in the opening by generating excitement and participation in the testing events, coordinating “first walk” events and recruiting State Emergency Service WA volunteers for the specialist component of testing.

Our results

Matagarup Bridge was opened for public use on 14 July 2018, less than six months after the first steel modules were delivered to site
Commercial operators quickly adapted to the river disruptions, while regular communication and a flexible approach for engaging with recreational boaties protected the team from public criticism through media or other forums.
The testing events were successfully coordinated to achieve both social and technical objectives. Interested members of the public and key stakeholders had privileged access to the bridge and helped contribute to its opening, while engineers were able to achieve the data collection they needed to confirm the bridge performed to design.

Matagarup Bridge was opened for public use on 14 July 2018, and a flexible approach to engaging with river users protected the team from public criticism.


Keys to success

Listening to stakeholders

We delivered bespoke solutions for two major commercial river operators

Acknowledgement of place

Working with traditional owners to recognise cultural importance

Community participation

>1200 members of the public helped produce the data to open the bridge