On 29 August 2021, 30,0000 participants will walk, run or roll across the iconic Sir Leo Hielscher Bridge (Gateway Bridge) as part of The Sunday Mail Transurban Bridge to Brisbane, the first time in six years participants have been given this exclusive opportunity.
What participants may not realise as they run across the bridge on race day, is the amount of work that goes on behind the scenes to keep the bridge running smoothly for the 100,000 motorists who use it each day.
Transurban Queensland Network Maintenance and Environment Manager, David Counsell said his team works around the clock to ensure the bridge is safe and smooth for motorists as well as ready for an event as significant as The Sunday Mail Transurban Bridge to Brisbane.
“When participants are racing 800m uphill to the peak of the Bridge, most won’t realise they are running over a massive concrete cavity inside the bridge which sits 20m below road level and is as long as two football fields.”
Transurban’s Annelise Konstantinou, 34, with (rear) David Counsell, 39, and Jesse Denham, 29, inspect the interior sections of the new Gateway Bridge. Picture: Liam Kidston
David went on to say it’s a full-time job to maintain a structure of this size, from asphalt and drainage to lighting, technology and safety barriers.
“We’re constantly looking at new and improved ways to maintain the 1.6km long, 65m high twin bridges – in fact, we recently replaced four 600kg bridge bearings under live traffic without any impact to motorists,” he said.
“We’ve installed sensors to monitor the bridges 24/7 to detect and predict maintenance works so we can keep our roads safe and motorists moving.
“They detect noise and vibration frequencies to analyse bridge performance in real time – It’s like a fit bit for the bridge.”
David said he is excited to participate in his first Bridge to Brisbane this year and is in training to run the 10kms with his maintenance team.
“We’re looking forward to running over the bridge at this year’s Bridge to Brisbane, instead of inspecting inside it,” he said.
“As a young father, I’m proud to be running with Team Transurban to support our long-term charity partner Ronald McDonald House Charities South East Queensland by raising much needed funds for families in need.”
Still haven’t registered for this year’s The Sunday Mail Transurban Bridge to Brisbane!? Now’s the time! Click here to register!