Burt Munro container bridge keeps spectators safe and on track

A container bridge spanning the street race track at the Burt Munro Challenge in Invercargill was designed to ensure the safety of spectators and give them a prime vantage point.

The four-day event is the largest motorcycle rally in the southern hemisphere and saw more than 3000 people turn out making it a record attendance.

The annual event takes place at various locations, showcasing the top riders across New Zealand and Australia, and spectator safety is especially important around the street circuit where there is a high amount of foot traffic.

The Burt Munro bridge across the street circuit track was built from three Royal Wolf containers – two 20-foot units and a 40-foot box – with doors opening at both ends to create a walkway allowing spectators a safe passageway over the track and into the viewing area.

With the two 20-foot containers located either side of the road, the 40-foot unit was rested on top of these containers and then secured by twist locks. The 20-foot containers were filled with slabs of concrete ballast to ensure they were weighed down and scaffolding stairs and handrails were constructed so attendees could walk up and over the track.

Race organiser, Garry Jamieson, says they wanted a durable but temporary solution that would allow spectators the flexibility to move to and from the viewing area in the centre of the track.

“Previously, the only way for spectators to get to the viewing area was to walk across the track between races. The solution had to be cost effective, easy to set up temporarily, and importantly, keep pedestrians safe. The container bridge ticked all those boxes and it is now a real feature of the circuit,” he says.

Royal Wolf Executive General Manager, Paul Creighton, says containers are one of the easiest and most practical solutions for managing safety.

“In the case of the Burt Munro Challenge, the bridge is a classic example of a basic container being used to create a highly usable, safe and great looking structure.

“Our containers have become a regular sight around construction sites in cities and the Burt Munro bridge takes it to the next level. They are the perfect solution for keeping the public safe and this project highlights the diversity of what containers can be used for and how they can be modified to meet a specific need.

“Containers are an incredibly strong and solid structure, but they’re also very adaptable so there really is no limit to what you can make out of them.”