A NSW Roads and Maritime Services Director of Bridges and Structure has been awarded the NSW Premier’s Award for Infrastructure Delivery.

Wije Ariyaratne (Ari), a long-term Ausroads contributor, who represents Austroads on the Standards Australia bridge design committee, which he chairs, and has previously been a member of the Austroads Bridge Task Force, won the award.

The National Transport Commission (NTC) identified bridges and their load capacity as the greatest impediment to improving transport efficiency and safety, and to reducing the impact on the environment.

The award recognises Mr Ariyaratne’s  leadership at Roads and Maritime Services to develop the Bridge Load Assessment Process.

This includes reviewing design loads and the use of the Bridge Proof Load Testing Facility, which tests bridges that are suspected of being under the desired load capacity.

His engineering innovation meant that many older bridges were found to have residual strength, which could be used to open up the road network and improve productivity.

For more than 45 years, Mr Ariyaratne has challenged the status quo, and pioneered designs that have driven countless operational and maintenance innovations.

Nick Koukoulas, Austroads Chief Executive, has congratulated Mr Ariyaratne on behalf of the organisation.

“Ari’s award is well deserved, and is fitting recognition for his technical skills and innovative thinking,” Mr Koukoulas said.

“We are extremely fortunate to have agency staff of the calibre of Ari working with us.”

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