We are pleased to share that SMEC Australia has been appointed by the National Capital Authority to deliver the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge Renewal Project.

The Commonwealth Avenue Bridge is a key landmark in Walter Burley Griffin’s formal plan for Canberra. It not only has key significance as an arterial road corridor in Canberra’s metropolitan transport network but holds cultural and heritage values that are equally important as part of Canberra’s history. Our design will help this iconic bridge meet the future needs of a growing city, improve pedestrian and cycling safety, connectivity and amenity and extend the design life so that it continues to serve as a key transport and urban corridor.

See below Media Statement from the National Capital Authority in full:


6 October 2022


Motorists, pedestrians and visitors alike can look forward to an improved and upgraded Commonwealth Avenue Bridge (the Bridge) after the National Capital Authority (NCA) announced the winning consultancy firm that will oversee the design of the $137m Commonwealth Avenue Bridge Renewal (CABR) project in the national capital.

First announced in 2021, the project will involve significant strengthening and widening works to increase the Bridge’s load-bearing capacity to reflect current and forecast traffic load demands, augment vehicle and pedestrian safety barriers, and accommodate wider shared pedestrian and cycleway paths.

Minister for Regional Development, Local Government and Territories, Kristy McBain, who has responsibility for the NCA, said she is thrilled to see the CABR project progressing.

“The Commonwealth Avenue Bridge upgrade is part of the NCA’s major asset renewal program that will see iconic structures strengthened and enhanced.

Canberra is not only the seat of our government. It is the heart of the nation, and should continue to mirror our history, identity and growing role on the global stage.”, Minister McBain said.

Alicia Payne MP, Chair of the Joint Standing Committee on the National Capital and External Territories and member for Canberra, said, “The iconic and nationally significant Commonwealth Avenue Bridge is one of two major bridges crossing Lake Burley Griffin. It is a critical component of the transport network of Canberra and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). The Bridge was built in 1963 and will turn 60 years old in 2023. It is time to address the evolving needs of our modern modes of transport and ensure the Bridge will continue to serve future generations.”

SMEC, an engineering, management and development consultancy which is a subsidiary of urban and industrial development giant, Surbana Jurong Group, has won the open tender process. SMEC has an extensive track record in delivering complex infrastructure projects including the massive Snowy Mountains Hydroelectric Scheme. It is currently involved in some of Australia’s largest infrastructure developments, namely, Snowy Hydro 2.0, ARTC’s Inland Rail, NorthEast Link and Sydney Metro West, among others.

James Phillis, SMEC ANZ CEO, said, “SMEC has assembled a strong team to work closely with the NCA on the design consultancy services for CABR. Our team includes landscape architects and urban designers Spackman Mossop Michaels, Architects Tonkin Zulaikha Greer and lighting designers Lighting Art and Science. Together we bring an integrated engineering and urban design approach that is sympathetic to the existing bridge, its heritage and location.”

NCA Chief Executive, Sally Barnes, said, “The NCA is working collaboratively with the ACT Government to ensure major projects along Commonwealth Avenue, including the Raising of London Circuit and future Light Rail works, will not hamper business and community activities. There will be public consultation at relevant stages and the NCA will give regular updates to all stakeholders until the project is completed.”

Finally, the NCA’s CABR Project Director, Greg Tallentire, said, “The NCA and SMEC will soon conduct background investigations to support heritage and environmental impact assessments and traffic studies. The design is expected to take 10 months to finalise, and the project will commence in late 2023. We will undertake the works in stages to minimise traffic disruptions and maintain operation as well as safe passage under the Bridge for all Lake users.”


Pictured above: Artist impression of improved shared path