Australian progress

The Spirit of Progress Bridge in Australia represents the first use of mageba’s TENSA®GRIP single-gap expansion joint in New South Wales following the state’s years-long evaluation and certification process – ushering in a new era in which only expansion joints of the highest quality should be used on the region’s highways, to the benefit of bridge owners and users alike.

Australia’s M31 motorway (also known as the Hume Highway) connects the country’s two biggest cities, Sydney and Melbourne, and passes the country’s capital, Canberra, on the way. The Spirit of Progress Bridge has a special location on this important road, crossing the Murray River where it forms the border between the states of Victoria and New South Wales. The incrementally-launched bridge was opened in 2007, but the small-movement expansion joints used in its construction (aluminium saw-tooth joints) proved problematic and too expensive to maintain, so a superior alternative was sought to replace them. Fortunately, an optimal solution had recently been granted a general approval by the state of New South Wales, making it no longer necessary to obtain project-specific approvals for future projects.

The TENSA®GRIP single-gap (“nosing”) joint is one of mageba’s most tried-and-tested expansion joint types, having proven its excellent performance and long-term durability on countless bridges around the world over the last half a century. But its impressive track record, and the extensive testing carried out in the past in the course of obtaining various national and international certifications, was not enough to satisfy the high standards of Transport for New South Wales (TfNSW), the Australian state’s authority with responsibility for roads and bridges. Following years of evaluation including independent third-party testing in accordance with AS 5100.4, mageba last year became the first manufacturer to be awarded general approvals in New South Wales for single-gap joints and cantilever finger joints with fatigue-proof loop anchorage.

Having proven its quality and durability in such unprecedented fashion – internationally and now also in New South Wales – the TENSA®GRIP expansion joint was chosen for use on the Spirit of Progress Bridge. The required joints were designed and manufactured by mageba’s team in Australia, and have now been installed – commencing a service life that can rightfully be expected to last many years longer, with far less maintenance required, than the expansion joints they were selected to replace.

Bridge designer: TfNSW design team
Contractor: TfNSW projects team
Owner: TfNSW

The Spirit of Progress Bridge crosses the Murray River where it forms the border between the Australian states of Victoria and New South Wales

Design representation of a TENSA-GRIP expansion joint – the first single-gap (“nosing-type”) joint with fatigue-proof loop anchorage to be awarded a general approval by the Australian state of New South Wales following years-long evaluations and testing

The TENSA®GRIP expansion joint was selected to replace the old expansion joints of the Spirit of Progress Bridge – the first application of this joint type by Transport for New South Wales following its general approval

The TENSA®GRIP expansion joints of the Spirit of Progress Bridge were designed, delivered and installed in sections to minimise impacts on traffic during the replacement work

Installed TENSA®GRIP expansion joint

The robustness of the TENSA®GRIP expansion joint’s design and fabrication makes it extremely durable and therefore ideal for small-movement applications where a long service life with minimum maintenance is required