A linkway between Westmead Hospital and The Children’s Hospital at Westmead maintains a crucial relationship in the state’s healthcare system.
Wednesday 5 June marks the next milestone in this connection’s history as the temporary linkway made of shipping containers is closed and the first stage of the permanent structure into the heart of the new hospital is opened.
Staff and patients will notice a few changes in the switchover. Directional signs will be in place and access maintained at all times.
This latest iteration is another reminder of how the linkway has served as a working symbol for collaboration and thinking outside the square.
Construction director at PwC Darren Hudson said the temporary connection had been a critical link since it opened on 14 March 2017.
He said the linkway enabled the two hospitals to continue to share services while the 14-storey Central Acute Services Building was planned and developed between them.
“It’s been a combination of inventiveness, stakeholder engagement and patience,” Darren said.
“We have a huge appreciation for the support of our health partners in this project and we’re proud to have met their needs from a construction standpoint.”
The temporary linkway – which replaced the original structure built in 1995 - consists of nine 12-metre containers extending more than 108 metres in length.
It’s supported by 26 piles, each extending five metres into the ground, and 65 structural steel members in the form of beams and columns.
The temporary linkway will now be dismantled and removed.
Temporary linkway’s timeline of service (see slideshow below)
• December 2016 - Dismantling and removal of the WIMR Linkbridge.
• December 2016 to January 2017 - Piling works for new temporary link structural steel supports.
• January 2017 - Installation of structural steel supporting columns.
• January 2017 - Containers arrive on-site at Westmead.
• January/February 2017 - Containers lifted into position on structural steel columns.
• 14 March 2017 - Linkway switchover; temporary linkway opened.
• 15 May 2017 - Adjoining WIMR Way completed and opened (reconnecting WIMR).
• March-June 2017 - Demolition of original linkway, NETS building and car park. Temporary linkbridge is left suspended through the CASB construction site.
• July 2018 - CASB structure engulfs the temporary linkbridge; level 3 of the Innovation Centre poured, 24-hour shutdown occurs.
• August 2018 to May 2019 - Innovation Centre and new linkway fitted out for use.
• 5 June 2019 - New linkway opens for use.
• June 2019 - Temporary linkway decommissioned, dismantled and removed.
Original linkway October 2016.