The artwork was designed by Nadira Yapa and Andrew Tesoriero of Jackson Teece.

The Tumbarumba Bridge was constructed in a ‘top-down’ method. The bridge deck was built first on a ridge with bored piles supporting the bridge. The hill was then excavated leaving the rough bored piles exposed. The precast panels serve the primary function of cladding these crudely finished piles.

The bridge form is a cast in-situ voided slab. This gives a slender line in elevation and an uncluttered bridge soffit. The cladding design known as ‘the Lizard Tree’ complements this simplicity of form and line. The ‘trunks’ of the lizard trees on either side of the bridge form the safety barriers required to protect the bridge piers from accidental vehicular impact.

Bridge piles need regular and long term maintenance. This design removes the requirement for maintenance by in-filling and encasing the piles in concrete. The design is inspired by silhouettes of nature and the play of light and shadow moving through trees framed against the blue sky and the mountains in the distance.

It is designed to be experienced while moving at a speed of 100km/hour. At a distance the motorist perceives the tree with a play of the perspective creating intrigue. Upon moving closer the motorist is struck by the power and scale of the piece. The tree creates a sense of moving with the driver through its grounded trunk at one end and outward reaching branches at the other seen in perspective. The experience of the tree at night against a dark starlit sky is particularly beautiful.

The bridge has been conceived as an intrinsic part of the surrounding landscape, using the colours, light and shadow of the trees, grasses, hills and rock outcrops. Rock gardens are being established at the abutments of the bridge and the adjoinging embankments to provide a habitat for two local endangered lizards, the Striped Legless Lizard and the Pink Tailed Worm Lizard.

Awards

2009 CCAA Public Domain National Award for Best Bridge Design for Tumbarumba Bridge Public Artwork