The construction of two 35 m pedestrian bridges is under way in Paterson Park, completing the final phase of an upgrade project that will provide the community of Norwood, in Johannesburg, with a visually pleasing and functional recreational environment.
In 2015, the Johannesburg Development Agency initiated a project to uplift the Norwood area through the upgrade of the park, as well as through the construction of a new recreation centre and a township of cluster houses.
As part of the upgrades, independent engineering specialist Arup South Africa was approached as a sub-consultant to hydrologist specialist company Chris Brooker & Associates to undertake the structural design of a new concrete stormwater culvert system and manmade stream to accommodate stormwater flow through the park. Arup was also appointed for the design of two pedestrian bridges over the manmade river in the park.
Design work on the stormwater system started in October 2015, and the culvert and stream sections have largely been completed.
The stormwater upgrades for the area included a section of precast concrete culverts with a large in-situ cast inlet chamber to accommodate flow from the area surrounding the new recreation development. Arup explains that this culvert section flows out into an open “celebration pond” further north and is then routed through a manmade stream section that meanders through Paterson Park. The project scope also includes the redesign of landscaping for the park and creating easy access for the public using walkways and the pedestrian bridges over the stream section.
The firm highlights that the main challenge of the project has been in achieving a design that is functional and visually pleasing, noting that as the culvert section is backfilled and buried, the visual impact is not significant.
“With the design that has been implemented, the stream section forms a focal point of the park, with features such as the celebration pond and pedestrian bridges becoming iconic for the area,” says Arup engineer Richard Hyson. Consequently, a lot of time and effort has been put into the design of the celebration pond and bridges, with extensive input from local community members and forums. “This will ensure that the final product will address their many functional and ergonomic requirements.”
“A key achievement of the stormwater upgrade component of the project has been the development of a solution that can effectively address the stormwater requirements for the area in a manner that contributes positively to the look and appeal of the park’s upgrades,” concludes Hyson.