Rigby Jones delivers versatile steel solutions for Fontana Bridge project

Time lapse of construction of Fontana bridge steel parts

Approximately 40km from Sydney CBD you’ll find the developing and highly engaged local government community of the Hills Shire. Incorporating Box Hill and the Gables, over the past five years the area has grown into a bustling arrangement of new home estates, schools, shopping centres, sports fields and parklands.

The infrastructure and planning are significant and one piece of the puzzle was the creation of a bridge, the Fontana Bridge, strategically positioned to connect the residents to the services and amenities that make this slice of Sydney so popular. The K-12 school is especially important to the fabric of the community and the Fontana Bridge is the glue binding the school to the community and the amenities to the residents.

The Fontana Bridge provides a corridor for kids, parents and other residents to access from one side of the region to the other quickly, efficiently and safely.

Such an important piece of infrastructure needs an identity and personality, and the construction engineer, the Brolton Group, turned immediately to Rigby Jones.

Fontana bridge

Aesthetics matter

Building a bridge is one thing; however, it has to be striking and something that the community connects with, communicating the culture and vibrancy of the people it services. After receiving the architectural drawings of the bridge’s adornments for shop detailing, Brolton Group Project Manager Jason Moylan knew who he needed for plate processing and quickly engaged Rigbys.

“The Brolton Group was successfully awarded the tender for the structural steel ribbons adorning the bridge. The ribbons required a variety of steel thicknesses, 20mm, 16mm and 12mm of special rolled Bluescope WR350 weathered steel.

It was a complicated design with tight scheduling and with jobs like this I need a processing partner I can work with and trust,” says Jason.

Aside from the complex and intricate design of the structure, it came with the added complication of design constraints, having a maximum of 8mm tolerance over a length of 50 metres.

“Test runs set up a successful project. We surveyed our workshop floor and built a prototype in-house for testing purposes. Welding the first component received from Rigby Jones made all the difference. We were able to iron out any creases in the plan and I knew that our process was accurate and that Rigby Jones was right across what was needed for this project to work smoothly and timely,” says Jason.

Big steel bar in a construction site

Collaboration is key

From the start, the Brolton Group confidently collaborated with Rigby Jones to determine the best outcome for the client.

Together they looked at the needs of the project and using the expertise of the Brolton Group’s engineering capabilities and the superior processing capabilities of Rigby Jones they were able to deliver a comprehensive and accurate plan to the client that exceeded expectations.

“The Brolton Group has worked with Rigby Jones on several projects. From my experience, the team at Rigby Jones approaches a job from a position of ‘yes’ and completes the job despite issues that may arise throughout the project’s life cycle. 

They are the subject matter experts in plate processing and always work to the highest standards. They are not necessarily the cheapest but I know I am getting the best in the industry,” says Jason.

Fontana Bridge

Outstanding capabilities

Projects like this one are the reason that Rigby Jones has invested in state-of-the-art, CNC plasma cutting technologies.  This was a critical piece of equipment needed on this project.

As the structural piece resembled the shape of a twisted ribbon, Rigby Jones’ superior expertise in bevel edge cutting and rolled and form processing ensured each component was processed exactly to the specifications without fault or compromise.

When it comes to bespoke designs, it is Rigby Jones’ expertise that makes all the difference.

Worker touching steel in factory

Planning, scheduling and passion

“When I first saw the 3D modelling for this project, I was immediately excited by the prospect of the solution,” says Mario Penza of Rigby Jones.

Having the best equipment and operators ensures the mechanical functions of any project work. However, it is the behind the scenes work that ensures a project like this one has a successful outcome. Planning and scheduling are essential functions in complex problem solving. As the structure was processed in separate pieces like a big Meccano set, each piece needed to be processed at various stages.

The cutting, rolling and forming needed to exactly replicate over varying thicknesses with minimum tolerances. The planning and communication between Rigby Jones’ internal teams and the Brolton Group were first class and meant that the Brolton Group received each component exactly when scheduled in the planned order and processed precisely to the specifications.

“With so many varying parts attributed to this project, the teamwork, expertise, communication and planning all played pivotal roles in executing the project to such a high standard. I am so proud of the way it came together.” says Mario.

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When it comes to solving complex steel processing problems, our team members are the experts. Contact us today and see why so many construction businesses turn to Rigby Jones for their steel needs.


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