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Corten plate for new skywalk

7 March 2019

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Weathering steel plate will provide strength and aesthetic advantages to WA’s soon-to-be-newest tourist attraction: the Kalbarri Skywalk.

Weathering steel supplied by InfraBuild Steel Centre (formerly LIBERTY OneSteel Metalcentre) will soon be used in a skywalk project that will integrate two viewing platforms seamlessly with the ochre red environs of Western Australia’s Murchison River Gorge.

The Kalbarri Skywalk will comprise two 100m-high cantilevered structures that will extend 25m and 17m beyond the rim of the gorge at one of its highest points. The two viewing platforms will form a horseshoe shape and offer impressive views of the Gorge, which is situated in WA’s rugged Kalbarri National Park approximately 500km north of Perth.

A boardwalk will connect the two skywalks, with a kiosk and pavilions also set to be built. Twenty-two kilometres of park roads have already been sealed to facilitate visitor access.

Dave Morrison from InfraBuild Steel Centre says the 350-grade weathering steel will not only provide the necessary strength for the skywalk structure, but satisfy the project’s aesthetic requirements. Dave secured the order for 150 tonnes of WE350 LO Corten plate from fabricator Alltype Engineering, with delivery to Alltype completed in December 2018.

“Alltype Engineering is currently in the process of making the plate into large box girders, which will form the platform base of the skywalk,” Dave says. “The product will suit the ochre tones of the gorge and assist the skywalk to blend with surrounding landscape.”

The weathered corten plate assists the skywalk to blend with surrounding landscape

InfraBuild Steel Centre State Manager Michael Hurley said Dave Morrison is to be commended for securing supply of the Corten plate from Alltype Engineering, adding that “the whole project has been designed to fit the environment using raw materials and local artwork.” 

In February, the WA state government’s Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) announced that WA-based civil engineers Bocol Constructions had been awarded the contract to build the Kalbarri Skywalk. It estimates that the project will be completed in mid 2020.

The skywalks are expected to become a major tourism drawcard for the Kalbarri National Park when they open. Figures from the DBCA show that visits to the National Park have increased in the last five years from 306,000 in 2013–14 to 401,000 in 2017–18.