15 Things You Should Know about Matagarup Bridge

Matagarup Bridge

Perth’s Matagarup Bridge is one of the city’s most iconic landmarks, spanning the Swan River and connecting East Perth to the Burswood Peninsula. Since its opening in 2018, the bridge has become a major attraction for tourists and locals, offering stunning views of the city skyline and the surrounding areas. But there’s more to the Matagarup Bridge than just its breathtaking design and engineering. In this article, we’ll look at 15 trivial things you may not know about this incredible bridge, from its Noongar name and unique design to its lighting scheme, cultural significance, and use for major events. Join us on a journey of discovery as we explore the fascinating world of the Matagarup Bridge.

  1. “Matagarup” means “place where the river is only marginally wide” in the local Noongar language. The island of Matagarup, located near the bridge’s site, was historically an important gathering place for the Noongar people.
  2. The bridge’s construction took three years and cost approximately AUD 91 million. The bridge was designed by Perth-based Cox Architecture and built by the John Holland Group.
  3. The Matagarup Bridge is 370 meters long, making it one of the longest suspension bridges in Australia. It is also 65 meters high at its tallest point, which provides stunning views of the Swan River and surrounding areas.
  4. The bridge has a unique design featuring two leaning A-frames and a single cable-stayed span. The A-frames are made of steel and are supported by reinforced concrete foundations. The high-strength steel cables anchored to the A-frames on one end and large concrete towers on the other.
  5. The bridge can accommodate up to 14,000 people per hour, making it ideal for large events at the nearby Optus Stadium. The bridge has an eight-meter-wide pedestrian and cycle path and two smaller paths for maintenance vehicles.
  6. The Matagarup Bridge has a total of 72 cables, each of which comprises hundreds of individual steel wires. The cables are arranged in groups of four and are spaced at regular intervals along the length of the bridge.
  7. The bridge is illuminated at night by energy-efficient LED lights, which can be programmed to create different patterns and colors. The lighting scheme was designed by lighting artist Warren Langley, who used blue and green tones to reflect the colors of the nearby river and parklands.
  8. Walking across the bridge takes approximately 10-15 minutes, depending on your speed. There are several seating areas where visitors can stop and enjoy the views.
  9. The Matagarup Bridge has won several awards for its innovative design and engineering, including the 2019 Australian Engineering Excellence Award. The bridge was also a finalist in the 2019 World Architecture Festival Awards.
  10. The bridge is part of a larger redevelopment project in the Burswood Peninsula area, which includes new public spaces, parks, and infrastructure. The project was designed to create a more connected and accessible urban environment for residents and visitors alike.
  11. The Matagarup Bridge is also known as the ‘bridge of the turtles’ due to the intricate turtle motifs on its sides, which Noongar artist Laurel Nannup designed. The turtles represent the importance of the Swan River and its ecosystem to local Aboriginal culture.
  12. The bridge was officially opened to the public on July 14, 2018, by WA Premier Mark McGowan and Noongar elder Richard Wilkes. Thousands of people turned out to celebrate the opening and walk across the bridge for the first time.
  13. The Matagarup Bridge has become a popular destination for tourists and locals, offering stunning views of the city skyline and the river. It is also a key part of Perth’s public transport network, with buses and trains providing easy access to the bridge from all parts of the city.
  14. The bridge has been used for several major events since its opening, including the 2018 Invictus Games, the 2019 Bledisloe Cup rugby match, and the 2020 Perth Festival. The bridge provides a unique and memorable experience for event-goers, who can walk across the bridge and enjoy the views before and after the event.
  15. The Matagarup Bridge is not only an engineering marvel but also a symbol of cultural and environmental significance for the people of Perth. It connects people, places, and ideas and provides a tangible link between the past, present, and future.

In conclusion, Perth’s Matagarup Bridge is not just a means of transport but a symbol of innovation, cultural significance, and environmental importance. The bridge is a testament to the city’s commitment to sustainability and accessibility. Its unique design and engineering have earned it several awards and recognitions, while its lighting scheme and turtle motifs have made it an iconic city landmark. As the Matagarup Bridge continues to attract visitors from all over the world, we can only imagine what other wonders this magnificent structure has in store for us in the future.

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