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Wanted: Iconic design for Sydney Harbour Bridge bike ramp

Transport for New South Wales has launched the bid to design the new Sydney Harbour Bridge bike ramp – may the best designer win.

Wanted: Iconic design for Sydney Harbour Bridge bike ramp

Concept design for the linear bike ramp.

Daily, thousands of cyclists have to carry their bikes up and down 55 steps to access the northern end of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. To rectify this, Transport for New South Wales is looking for bike ramp design proposals, and the community has been asked to participate.

The competition to design a new bike ramp for the Sydney Harbour Bridge comes after the community backed a proposal to connect Bradfield Park in Milsons Point to the bridge’s existing cycle path. The existing path runs between Millers Point in the south and Milsons Point in the north, along the western side of the bridge.

“The Harbour Bridge cycleway is one of the most popular bike routes in the city, with an average of 2,000 cyclists using it each day. Patronage is expected to increase once the ramp is built and cyclists no longer have to carry their bikes up the stairs,” said minister for transport and roads, Andrew Constance.

Artist's impression of the linear bike ramp proposal.

Artist’s impression of the linear bike ramp proposal.

Earlier this year, Transport for NSW revealed plans for the cycle ramp at the northern end of the Harbour Bridge that would allow cyclists to enter the bridge without needing to dismount for the stairs.

After community consultation, the linear ramp was chosen over a spiral option, due to the spiral potentially affecting the view line of cyclists and being more difficult to navigate. This competition will determine what that linear ramp will look like.

Artist's impression of the rejected spiral bike ramp proposal.

Artist’s impression of the rejected spiral ramp proposal.

Three designs from the competition will be shortlisted, according to Constance.

““We’re after innovative designs that are not only worthy of the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge, but also respect the heritage of the area, embrace Aboriginal culture and enhance the open space for the Milsons Point community,” Constance said.

North Sydney Mayor Jilly Gibson, an opponent of the original plans because of their potential to take up public space and put pedestrians at risk, has backed the competition.

Member for North Shore Felicity Wilson has called on the community to take part in shaping the city through the competition.

“For more than a decade, design and consultation has been undertaken to try to find the best solution to the incredibly challenging problem of both increasing safety for pedestrians and meeting the need for improved cycle access to the bridge – all while protecting and preserving the open space and heritage we love,” Wilson said.

“The outcomes of this consultation demonstrate that the broad views across my own community, as well as the wider catchment, support this project proceeding. I want to thank the local community for their extensive engagement – and call on all our local residents to now help create the vision for the final cycleway,” said Wilson.

The plans will be finalised with the support of the Heritage Council of NSW.

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