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Princes Bridge HVM Upgrade

The first roll-out of hostile vehicle mitigation measures at one of Australia’s oldest bridges.

Lead Contact

Project Details

Project Partners
Lovell Chen
Victorian Government & City of Melbourne
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Completion Date
1,500 m²
Princes Bridge HVM upgrade in Melbourne, Australia. Thornton Tomasetti
Princes Bridge HVM upgrade in Melbourne, Australia. Impress Photography
Princes Bridge HVM upgrade in Melbourne, Australia. Impress Photography


Spanning the Yarra River, Princes Bridge is one of Melbourne’s most prestigious crossings. It's also the city's oldest bridge, constructed in 1888 and now listed on the Victorian Heritage register, .

Following vehicular attacks on Australian citizens in 2017 and 2018, and against a backdrop of similar terrorist attacks in other countries, the Australian federal and Victorian state governments initiated a series of enhancements to protect the general public in Melbourne.

We provided protective design and security engineering services to Lovell Chen Heritage Architects and the Victorian government for the deployment of hostile vehicle mitigation measures at Princes Bridge.


  • The project presented several challenges. Its structure did not provide for adequate embedment of conventional bollards. It is also a heavily used bridge and forms a major gateway into the central business district, carrying road, tram and pedestrian traffic from the south.
  • Deploying HVM measures over a suspended structure required our team to design barriers that did not exceed the loading capacity of the bridge’s suspended slab but minimised load transfer into it should the barriers be impacted by a vehicle.
  • The client was particularly concerned about accidental impact by errant vehicles. Our solution involved deployment of a custom-engineered HVM block system on an ultra-shallow-mount structure. We incorporated a proprietary system that anchored the blocks, and installed conventional bollards at both ends of the bridge to close off vehicular access into the protected zone.
  • The shallow-mount crash block deployment required the project team to be especially sympathetic to the bridge’s heritage and architectural significance.