ITEM NUMBER         0.0

SUBJECT                   Barry Wilde Bridge Fountain

REFERENCE            F2010/02284 - D02122086

REPORT OF              Senior Project Officer – Environmental Outcomes        





To propose an additional attraction for residents and visitors to the Parramatta River Foreshore – a “Bridge Fountain” at Barry Wilde Bridge.





(a)  That Council endorses the proposal to construct a Bridge Fountain on Barry Wilde Bridge as outlined in this report.

(b)  That funds be allocated from the funding sources identified in this report.





1.      A Bridge Fountain is a fountain that is attached to a bridge and cascades water down to the river below (see Attachment 4 for an example from South Korea)



2.         There are several bridge fountains internationally, but no known examples in Australia, i.e. if one were built in Parramatta it would be an Australian first.


3.         There is potential for publicity around this item as a Sesquicentary project for the City.


4.         A Bridge Fountain in Parramatta is likely to contribute to the river foreshore as a regional attraction.  If successful in achieving this objective, the area will attract significant numbers of additional visitors, with consequent increases in local economic activity and employment .



5.         Alternatives to a Bridge Fountain were investigated, such as provision of a screen of water / laser show / projection of images (e.g. like Darling Harbour).  However, these were considered to be unsuitable at this point due to


a.   Their higher capital cost (approximately four times the capital cost of a Bridge Fountain)

b.   Their higher complexity increases operational and maintenance costs

c.   The difficulty in building such a system in a flood affected River such as the Parramatta River

d.   The use of the space – a screen of water for projection of images associated with the Barry Wilde Bridge would be at right angles to the majority of the audience (on the banks of the River), and as such would not operate to maximum effectiveness.  This does not however preclude this option in any future development of activation or interpretation in another location on the River


6.         The capital cost of building the Bridge Fountain has been estimated at $350,000 ex GST.


7.         The estimated operational and maintenance cost of the Bridge Fountain is $18 per hour.


8.         If the Bridge Fountain were operated for 3 hours a day in winter and 5 hours day during the rest of the year then 37,800 kWh of electricity would be consumed and the total operational and maintenance cost would be approximately $30,000 per year.



9.         Of the four bridges that cross the Parramatta River in the CBD, Barry Wilde Bridge (see attachments for a map showing the Bridge location) was considered to be the most suitable for attaching a bridge fountain, to the eastern side of the Bridge, as


a.   Unlike the Lennox Bridge or Elizabeth St Footbridge (Bridge of Oars) it was felt that Barry Wilde Bridge had no intrinsic aesthetic or heritage value

b.   Council owns Barry Wilde Bridge outright, so there are likely to be no issues with other agencies

c.   Having the fountain on the eastern side of the Bridge would provide an attractive sight for people arriving by ferry, or for people walking across the Bridge of Oars

d.   Electrical power is available relatively close to the Bridge.  Once power is brought to the Bridge, it will make future riverside events easier and cheaper to arrange (currently portable generators are required)

e.   The shape and form of the Bridge make it relatively easy to attach a bridge fountain to the Bridge superstructure

f.    During operation the fountain will hide the current low level footbridge underneath Barry Wilde Bridge, which is on the western side of the Bridge.


10.       A concept design has been developed for the bridge fountain, which would be located on the eastern side only (not the western) and also an artists impression of the completed structure (attached to this report).


11.       River water will be extracted from near the Bridge, pumped through a filter and ultraviolet light steriliser, then passed through a series of spigots attached to the Bridge, each surrounded by a LED light (see below for an example of a spigot / light).



12.       The water will be projected out from the Bridge at a fixed speed and angle.


13.       As the water is filtered and sterile, and adds oxygen to the River as it falls, it will improve the water quality in the River.


14.       The LED lights are programmable and will allow variable colours / patterns of illumination to be imparted to the falling water.


15.       An anemometer (wind speed meter) will be connected to the fountain controller and will stop fountain operation if excessively windy, to stop people being sprayed by water.


16.       Solar panels located on the Bridge will reduce the amount of grid electricity used for the fountain pumps and lights, will demonstrate environmental sustainability, and will reduce operating costs.




17.       The construction and operation of the Bridge Fountain is currently unfunded.  However, it is believed there are sufficient funds in the Section 94 and CBD Infrastructure Special Rate to enable immediate construction of the Bridge Fountain.


18.       Alternative State or Federal sources of funding could also be sought, perhaps linked to the celebrations of 150 years since the formation of Parramatta Council.


19.       The operational costs of the Bridge Fountain would require an increase in the operational budget of the Civil Infrastructure Unit of Council.  However, the increased economic activity resulting from increased visitation would result in additional rate, parking and other revenues accruing to Council.  For example, if over a year, 10,000 additional cars were parked for 3 hours in Parramatta Council operated car parking spaces this would conservatively generate over $50,000 in extra revenue.




20.       If approval is given to proceed it is anticipated that the Bridge Fountain would take 3-4 months to be built, with likely completion in the first half of 2012.  The Bridge Fountain would be officially opened as part of a Council Major Event or a Sesquicentary celebration.


Financial Impact


21. As discussed in the report, the estimated cost for the construction of the fountain is $350,000.  It is proposed that this be funded from the CBD Infrastructure Special Rate Reserve and/or Section 94.

22. The project will require a wide range of component parts from different suppliers and contractors, and project managed in house. As a result of this, all of the supply and contracting components will be below the tender threshold and as such a tender process will not be required.



Paul Hackney

Senior Project Officer

Environmental Outcomes






Artists impression of the proposed bridge fountain

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Photo of Barry Wilde Bridge

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Map showing location of Barry Wilde Bridge

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Colour Examples of Bridge Fountain and Spigot Light

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