NZ Standard Footbridge Design

The Standard NZ Footbridge Design is a simple and cost effective footbridge solution for use in parks and urban landscapes. The bridge design is a steel beam system supporting timber joist and decking. The footbridge can carry pedestrians and cyclists and allows spans of up to 18m and usable widths up to 3m. It is designed to New Zealand standards by experienced and qualified Chartered Professional Engineers (CEng & CPEng) and respected Bridge Architects from DC Structures Studio. The aim of this footbridge design is to establish a standard pedestrian footbridge design for New Zealand that can be easily implemented into most New Zealand design situations.

The design is intended to help designers who need a simple, cost effective bridge for their overall masterplan but who do not want to commission a bridge engineer or bridge architect in the early stages.

Dan Crocker – DC Structures Studio

In many cases the design can be successfully modified using variations of colour and balustrade type to fit the specific context without further design inputs being required. The drawings are free to download and use.

Basic 18m Pedestrian Bridge Plans for Free Download

Note: The above images are low quality JPEGs for use as a quick example of the set and are not appropriate for project work. If the bridge plans seem suitable for your needs we recommend downloading the full PDFs below.

Access to PDF Download:

To receive the high quality PDF set simply press the download link below:

Examples of bridges created using this set as a starting point.

Laurent Swale Footbridge in Cambridge (NZ) was a good example of a footbridge using the Standard NZ Footbridge as the baseline. In working with Waipa District Council and the Constructor (Spartan Construction) the balustrades were modified, a vibrant colour scheme slected, and the load carrying capacity was increased to discretely carry two large diameter water pipes. More info can be found here: Laurent Swale Footbridge

Laurent Swale Footbridge - Cambridge, New Zealand

(above) Laurent Swale Footbridge – Cambridge, New Zealand. Steel Footbridge based on NZ Standard Footbridge design.

 3D Visualisations and Modelling.

We have produced 3D visualisations of the bridge in advance to help provide quicker buy-in for your clients and we can also provide the 3D Sketchup 2017 model on request so that it can be added to your existing masterplans.

Why Do We Need a Standard Footbridge Design in NZ?

These designs are intended to be used for concept and feasibility stages of urban and landscape design projects. Landscape designers and councils often ask us if there are any basic bridge designs they can use to begin setting their overall masterplan and capital budgets. Until now the answer has always been “no”. As of 2017 none of the local councils in NZ, or the NZ Transport Agency, have standard designs for pedestrian or cycle bridges that are readily available to designers.

In the early stages of a project, councils, developers, and landscape designers want simple and reliable bridge options that fit to, and help set, their overall budgets. Making this design set freely available to all professionals is aimed at encouraging and more easily enhancing public spaces in and around NZ. This set aims to enable landscape architects and urban designers to setup public space masterplans and overall capital budgets that their clients can readily understand and hopefully accept prior to engaging other professionals.

Benefits from using a Standard Bridge Design

We are basically trying to set a “standard” design for small footbridges in NZ by making our standard design and associated drawings free to download and use. The benefit for you is that you and your team can progress concept and planning phases with very little – or in most cases no – input from bridge/structural design professionals until the detailed design phases. Adopting standard bridge designs should help reduce your concept and planning phase costs thus making your team more competitive when delivering or bidding on work. The bridges are also pre-priced so they can serve as a good benchmark when setting your capital works budget for clients. The benefit for us? We think of it as good PR. We believe giving you the simple footbridge designs for free is the easiest way to dazzle you with what we can do. Assuming you are sufficiently impressed, we are on hand to help with any project specific modifications or alternatives you may need.

Colour Flexibility

The steelwork can be finished to a vast array of different colours including most of the Resene and/or Dulux colour palettes. Below are just some examples:

Standard Footbridge Cost

Understanding the likely cost of a bridge is often a critical part of any project. Although your client may want an “iconic” or “architectural” bridge, the first consideration should be “does the project budget actually stretch to include custom design and construction work?“. The Standard NZ Footbridge is intended to serve as a simple, cost effective solution. We believe – based on our experience designing numerous footbridges in NZ – that it will be very difficult to deliver a code compliant footbridge, with a 100 year design life, for much less than that shown in the attached plans. If a more prestigious design is sought – which we can help you with – this design will still have significant value for setting a good baseline cost.

The NZ Standard Footbridge has been costed by our main cost estimation partner True-Cost NZ .

True-Cost NZ Construction Cost Consultants

The bridge shown in the attached plans is estimated as of April 2017 at $3,800 per square meter (+/- 30%*). This includes allowance for a concrete abutment with piled foundations, structural design, geotechnical design, cost estimate update, and fabrication/erection costs, construction monitoring (this is a full “no surprises” estimate for delivering the bridge).


  • 14.4m x 2m wide bridge ≈ NZ$110,000
  • 18m x 2m wide footbridge ≈ NZ$135,000
  • 14.4m x 3m wide footbridge ≈ NZ$165,000
  • 18m x 3m wide footbridge ≈ NZ$205,000

The bridge “construction only” cost is $3,300/ per square meter (excluding consultancy fees).

More info relating to the price can be found in the cost estimate produced by Les Lewer of True Cost NZ:

Standard NZ Footbridge - Truecost NZ Estimate
Standard NZ Footbridge – Truecost NZ Estimate

Les’ work is a great example for anyone planning infrastructure works or putting together estimates for local council or NZTA as it has been done to the latest “Business Case” methods which are being rolled out industry wide in NZ. If you need any estimating work or more information relating to the latest Business Case estimating methods we recommend you contact True-Cost NZ!

We accept no liability for the accuracy of the estimate and strongly recommend the estimate is updated/developed once the projects specifics are confirmed (True-Cost can help with that if required).

*The cost of the NZ Standard Footbridge will vary depending upon site conditions, ground conditions, access, and location. Contact us for the specifics relating to the cost estimate assumptions.

Future Updates to the Standard Footbridge Design

We aim to update the design and add additional options throughout 2017 (and beyond!).

Updates currently being considered:

  • Vertical steel balustrade infill options;
  • Stainless steel mesh infill;
  • Timber balustrade options;
  • Glulaminated timber beam alternative;
  • Typical substructure options.
  • Value engineering review (cutting cost or adding value).

After Concept Phases and During Planning Submission

So you have set a masterplan and you have agreed a capital budget using this standard footbridge design… what next? Prior to resource consenting a small geotechnical study will be necessary to confirm the ground conditions, geotechnical design parameters and provide bridge foundation recommendations. This is likely to consist of two borehole tests (one at each abutment location) followed by a small report summarising the ground conditions, geotechnical properties, and substructure recommendations. This study will then be used by your structural engineering design professional during the detailed design phase to design and detail a suitable abutment to support the bridge. The geotechnical foundation recommendations e.g. two 15m long 310UC driven steel piles with a 900D x 600B abutment beam (per abutment) should be added to the resource consent submission.

The bridge beams, decking and balustrades of this design set are pre-designed ready for construction to New Zealand standards as outlined in the New Zealand Building Code (as of January 2017). This approach to the design is intended to save your project time and money. At building consent stage and in accordance with the New Zealand Building Code, a Designer Producer Statement (PS1) for the bridge structure and PS1 for Geotechnical work will be required. Such services can be provided by your existing chartered professional engineering professionals (CPEng) once they have satisfied themselves that the design is compliant. Alternatively, you can contact us at DC Structures Studio Ltd to provide these services.


48 Responses to “NZ Standard Footbridge Design

  • Michael Alcorn
    2 months ago

    Can you please send me the SKP file for this design? Thanks.

  • Guillermo
    5 months ago

    I’m struggling to download the PDF too.
    Is it possible to have this and the sketchup model emailed please?

    • Hi Guillermo,
      Apologies. We will try and get it fixed this week.
      In the meantime we have emailed you the files.
      Dan and the DC Structures Studio Team.

  • MIke Ruebe
    5 months ago

    I’m struggling to download the PDF. I have tried using Chrome, Edge and Internet Explorer to no avail. Is it possible to have this and the sketchup model emailed please.

    • Thanks for letting us know Mike. We have emailed you the full content. As discussed we will try and get the issue resolved so others are not affected.

  • hi,
    can i have the steel work sheet auto cad please?

    • Hi Nayera
      These designs were not created in Autocad. We used “Sketchup” in combination with “Layout”. Sketchup model is provided which you could convert to a DWG/DXF 3D model (for use in Autocad) if you have access to Sketchup.

  • Nice detail design documentation !

  • hi, can i have the 3d model sent to me please?

  • hi,
    i’m Lutfi from Indonesia, i really love your design
    i was wondering the constructions detail to complete my last architecture college project,
    could you send me the detail?

  • Ludovica
    9 months ago

    I’M Ludovica and i’m studying my last year of degree of building construction in ITALY.
    I’m very intersteing in this project of the bridge. I was wondering if I could have the sketch up or CAD of this design to investigate further? Thanks so much.

    • Hi Ludovica,

      Apologies for the delay in responding to this. We have just emailed you the footbridge model. Hopefully it is still of use to you.
      Dan and the DC Structures Studio Team.

  • Ludovica Presta
    9 months ago

    Hi, the bridges look fantastic! I was wondering if I could have the sketch or CAD of this drawings to investigate further? also the 3d model skp file.
    Thanks a lot from Italy.

  • Amirul Aiman
    10 months ago

    My name is Amirul Aiman and I am from Landscape Architecture student. I was wondering if you could send me the high-quality PDF drawings for the Standard Footbridge Design.

    • Hi Amirul,

      Apologies for the delay in responding to your request. Things have been totally crazy with Covid!
      We’ve just emailed you the PDF drawings and the 3D file.
      Hopefully this is still of use to you.

      Best regards,
      Dan and the DC Structures Studio Team.

  • Hi there,
    I’M Carlos and i’m studying my last year of degree of architecture in Madrid.
    Im veryr intersteing in bridges and these ones looks amasing!I was wondering if I could have the sketch up or CAD of this design to investigate further? Thanks so much, from Spain.

  • hi, great idea. could I please get the 3d model file.

  • John Winston Fontanilla
    1 year ago

    Great! Looking forward to how we can apply this concept here in PH. Would love to browse the skp file. Thanks

  • Olanrewaju Femi
    2 years ago

    Hi I need to design a double span pedestrian timber bridge. Please assist with the design and detailing.

    • This is a design for a single span steel bridge. We are happy to do a commission for a timber pedestrian bridge but there are currently no free details for this.
      Let us know what you need by emailing us.

  • Hi. I am an architecture Student, and I really love your design of the bridge, would be of great help if you could forward the 3d of the same to me 🙂 Thanks a lot for your help

  • Nicolette Mandelstam
    2 years ago

    Hi! My daughter (13) has to do a project for school: design a pedestrian bridge across 2 double lanes for pupils to cross safely. Love the design of the bridge, although the one for the project will need stairs as it will cross a road. Please assist with the 3D sketch-up. Thanks!

  • Hello, I love this design I was hoping you could send me the 3D sketchup model or CAD file of this?

  • Tamara Murad
    2 years ago

    Could you please send me the Sketch up file for the 3D model? Thank you!
    [email protected]

  • Jordan Roberts Radford
    2 years ago

    My name is Jordan Roberts Radford and I am a second-year university student studying Mechanical Engineering. I was wondering if you could send me the high-quality PDF drawings for the Standard Footbridge Design.

    • Hi Jordan,
      You should be able to download direct from the website. Let us know if you are having troubles with the download (send us a few screenshots so we can fix).

  • Arch NIC
    2 years ago

    Hi, I’m amazed by the construction of the bridge. Would be great if i can have the skp and cad file for education purposes? I am a student in architecture course.

  • C Stone
    3 years ago

    Hi there, the bridges look awesome! I was wondering if I could have the sketch up or CAD of this design to investigate further?

  • Hi,

    Please send your 3D model and CAD of this design for a project am planning in USA if they are available.

    • Hi,
      The bridge is intended for NZ and Australia. It is not designed to the USA AASHTO loads or material standards but drop us an email at [email protected] explaining what you are trying to do and we will see if we can help.
      Dan and the DC Structures Studio Team.

  • Melisa Dinc
    3 years ago

    This project is amazing!! Can i also have the skethup version please. Thank you!

  • This is a great idea. Can you please send me the 3D sketchup model of this?

  • This great ideas !I from baghdad.In my country, we need a lot of bridge like this for people who are using
    Can you please send me the 3D sketchup model of this , layout drawing and all structural details ….. Thank you

  • This great ideas ! I come from Viet Nam, mekong delta. In my country, we need a lot of bridge like this for people who are using “monkey bridge” made by bamboo.
    Can you please send me the 3D sketchup model of this?
    Thank you.

    • Hi Linh,
      Thanks for your interest in this bridge. I will send you the 3D model. the bridge is designed to NZ codes but generally speaking this should be equivalent to most international codes for pedestrian loading (we use 5KPa with a 1.5 safety factor and the loading basis is shown on sheet 3 for easy comparison). You might also want to check the paint system with your supplier to confirm that it is applicable to Vietnam conditions which I assume might be a lot more humid than typical NZ conditions. Feel free to get in touch if you would like us to help.

  • Would be great to get the sketchup model of the footbridge.

  • Ethan Fromont
    4 years ago

    This is a great idea, we could definately use this in our future designs. Can you please send me the 3D sketchup model of this?

    • Hi Ethan,
      I’m just sending you the sketchup file now via email. Let us know if it works. If you can add comments/feedback on the plans to the website it would also be very useful for other users.
      Dan and the Team.

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