News Archive

Aboriginal Heritage Study to Promote and Protect

20 May 2014

Aboriginal Heritage Study to Promote and Protect

RPS works with communities in Young, NSW to identify and protect heritage sites.

RPS’ Cultural Heritage team in New South Wales was recently engaged by Young Shire Council (NSW) to conduct an Aboriginal Heritage study in the Young Local Government Area (LGA). The council was eager to promote Aboriginal heritage, while respecting Aboriginal cultural values and sensitive information, and needed to develop a stronger relationship with the Young Local Aboriginal Land Council.

The Blue Mountains in Jamison Park, New South Wales. Gavin Terpstra.

The purpose of the study was to identify cultural landscapes in the Young LGA that are of cultural and spiritual significance to the Aboriginal community, so that future development in the area be undertaken in a manner which respects Aboriginal cultural values.

RPS conducted a series of community mapping meetings with the Aboriginal community in order to identify areas of cultural and spiritual significance. The exact location of these areas were then buffered for their protection and a procedure put in place for Council planners to contact the relevant Aboriginal community when a development was proposed in an area of cultural significance. This procedure aims to strengthen communication between Young Shire Council and the Young Local Aboriginal Land Council and to facilitate an open dialogue with regards to Aboriginal Cultural Heritage.

RPS Cultural Heritage Consultants Deborah Farina and Laraine Nelson travelled to the town of Young to meet with Aboriginal communities and council representatives. Deborah was also one of seven people who gathered for the first meeting in four years of Young’s newly restored Aboriginal Liaison Committee to investigate Aboriginal Heritage sites. The committee, also consisting of councillors and members of the local Aboriginal community, had several meetings to discuss projects such as RPS’ Heritage study along with plans for an Aboriginal Cultural Day.

These meetings were extremely significant in the area, not only bringing the community together, but highlighting the Council’s efforts to preserve the area for future generations.

Sunset kayaker at Port Macquarie, New South Wales. Alexander Rist.

Ireland’s First Extradosed Bridge: Bridging the Belturbet Bypass

09 May 2014

Ireland’s First Extradosed Bridge: Bridging the Belturbet Bypass

River Erne Bridge wins the Irish Concrete Society’s Infrastructure and the Overall Award.

The River Erne Bridge in County Cavan has been awarded both the Infrastructure Award and the Overall Award for 2013 at the 32nd Irish Concrete Society Awards held on the 22nd March.

Christy O’Sullivan, RPS Director, Cian McGuinness, RPS Technical Director and Willie Madden, RPS Regional Director with the Irish Concrete Society Award.

The 150m River Erne Bridge is a three span extrados structure with a 70m main span over the River Erne. The crossing site is part of the Lough Oughter & Associated Loughs Special Area of Conservation (SAC). The design provides both an aesthetically pleasing structure and a very economical use of materials. It also delivers a long clear span across the river, with a relatively shallow deck profile, minimising the environmental and visual impact of the bridge. Extradosed bridges, a cross between a cable stay bridge and an externally prestressed girder bridge, are still relatively uncommon worldwide and the Erne Bridge is the first of this type to be constructed in Ireland. It is now an instantly recognisable and elegant landmark on the N3 route from Dublin to Enniskillen. The jury for the Irish Concrete Society Awards described the bridge as “an exceptional bridge design, beautifully executed with cutting edge engineering design concepts.”

River Erne Bridge.

RPS, led by Christy O’Sullivan, Project Director, acted as Designer’s Site Representative and Technical Advisor on the N3 Belturbet Bypass for the Design-Build contractor Ferrovial Agroman PT McWillams Joint Venture, and undertook the tender and detailed design, environmental design and assessments, supervised and certified the construction of the project.

Aghnaguig Bog Bridge.

The bridge is part of the N3 Butlersbridge to Belturbet project, which was officially opened on 3rd April 2014. The €61m project included 7km of single carriageway and a second large bridge, the 210m long balanced cantilever construction Aghnaguig Bog Bridge crossing a sensitive bog woodland habitat. The road design and environmental work was undertaken by our Galway office, led by Cian McGuinness and the bridge design was delivered from our Cork office by Kieran Ruane and his team.

The project sets a benchmark for the increasing use of long span bridges to cross sensitive environmental sites, particularly Natura 2000 sites.

RPS (represented by RPS Regional Director Willie Madden and RPS Senior Resident Engineer Liam Geoghegan), Design-Build Contractor Ferrovial Agroman and Cavan County Council at the opening of the N3 Butlersbridge to Belturbet Road Improvement Scheme.