Iron Cove Bridge

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Iron Cove Bridge
Iron Cove Bridge.JPG
Carries Motor vehicles, pedestrians and bicycles
Crosses Iron Cove
Locale Sydney, Australia (Map)
Official name Iron Cove Bridge
Maintained by Roads and Maritime Services
Design Truss bridge
Total length 468 m (1,535 ft)[1]
Width 13.5 m (44 ft) [2]
Clearance below 12 metres (39 ft)
Opened July 1955

Iron Cove Bridge is a heritage listed bridge linking the suburbs of Drummoyne to Rozelle in New South Wales, Australia.[3]


Iron Cove Bridge
Iron Cove Bridge Picture 5.jpg
Total length 1,137 feet 3 inches (346.63 m)
Width 24 feet (7.3 m)
Longest span 126 feet (38 m)
No. of spans 9
Piers in water 8
Construction start April 1878[4]
Opened 22 November 1882
Replaced by Iron Cove Bridge

The original bridge was constructed of wrought iron lattice girders and opened in 1882 after four years of construction. The area was sparsely populated in the 1880s and the opening of the new bridge not only helped accessibility but also provided a new western route to Sydney via Balmain. The old spans were re-used by means of purchase by Gordon Duff and are still in use in the Forbes area.[5] All that remains in place of the original bridge are the sandstone abutments situated on both sides of the cove about 20 metres (65 ft) south of the current bridge. The abutment on the Drummoyne side is listed on the NSW Heritage Register.[6]


A decision to replace the original bridge was made in 1939 just prior to the outbreak of World War II. Design work began in 1942 and construction by Hornibrook McKenzie Clarke Pty Ltd commenced in 1947. The bridge was officially opened by Hon. J.J. Cahill, MLA, Premier and Colonial Treasurer of NSW on 30 July 1955.

The bridge was built to carry four lanes of traffic, but a fifth lane was later added to the southwest side of the bridge. This extra lane runs outside of the main bridge supports, forcing traffic to remain in the lane for the length of the bridge. The default configuration is three westbound and two eastbound lanes, switching to two westbound and three eastbound lanes during the morning peak. Because of their good resistance to corrosion, all nine of the 1882 bridge's 38.5-metre spans are in current use in three bridges on country roads near Forbes, New South Wales.


The bridge has aesthetically distinctive piers and abutments which reflect the Inter-War Art Deco style. Furthermore, it was the last steel truss bridge to be constructed in New South Wales in which rivets were used for field connections prior to the introduction of high strength bolts.

Bridge duplication

Iron Cove Bridge
New iron cove bridge, new south wales.jpg

In April 2009, the NSW Government approved plans to construct a second bridge over Iron Cove as part of the Inner West Busway along Victoria Road.[7] The new bridge was constructed on the western side of the existing bridge and holds three westbound traffic lanes with one lane designated as a morning peak bus lane. The existing bridge now carries three city bound traffic lanes and a 24-hour bus lane. The existing outrigger lane has been closed and is now only used for maintenance reasons. There is also a 4.3-metre (14 ft) wide pedestrian and cycle path on the western side of the new bridge which connects to both The Bay Run and Victoria Road. Work on the duplicate bridge commenced in July 2009. It was first opened to traffic late on Friday 28 January 2011.[8]

During the proposal phase there were strong protests against the duplicate bridge being built from local residents as well as both local area councils of the City of Canada Bay (Drummoyne side) and Leichhardt (Rozelle side). Local residents within both Drummoyne and Rozelle formed the Victoria Road Community[9] and organised public demonstrations, the last of which on 29 March 2009 attracted over 3000 protest marchers.[10] Opposition to the new bridge was based on independent evaluations concluding that there would be only slight improvements to traffic congestion city bound on Victoria Road during peak hour while local congestion would worsen. Additionally, parkland on both sides of the new bridge would be reduced and independent environmental studies showed the local environment detrimentally impacted by the new bridge construction.

See also


  1. ^ "Bridge Ahoy! Iron Cove Bridge". Bridge Ahoy!. Information and Cultural Exchange. 2014. Retrieved 12 July 2015. Bridge Ahoy! A Curated tour of the Bridges of Sydney Harbour. Created for Sydney Architecture Festival 2014 by Information and Cultural Exchange. Supported By Roads and Maritime Services 
  2. ^ "Bridge Ahoy! Iron Cove Bridge". Bridge Ahoy!. Information and Cultural Exchange. 2014. Retrieved 12 July 2015. Bridge Ahoy! A Curated tour of the Bridges of Sydney Harbour. Created for Sydney Architecture Festival 2014 by Information and Cultural Exchange. Supported By Roads and Maritime Services 
  3. ^ "Iron Cove Bridge". NSW Heritage Office. Retrieved 25 December 2006. 
  4. ^ "OPENING OF THE IRON COVE BRIDGE". The Sydney Morning Herald (13,938). New South Wales, Australia. 30 November 1882. p. 13. Retrieved 4 November 2016 – via National Library of Australia. 
  5. ^ "Sydney Travellers' Guide: Sydney Harbour Vantage Points". 13 January 2015. Archived from the original on 13 January 2015. Retrieved 4 November 2016. 
  6. ^ "Iron Cove Bridge Abutment". NSW Heritage Office. Retrieved 25 December 2006. 
  7. ^ "$100 Million Victoria Road Upgrade" (Press release). New South Wales Government. 20 November 2006. 
  8. ^ O'rourke, Jim (30 January 2011). "Inner-west's bridge of sighs". The Sydney Morning Herald. 
  9. ^ Victoria Road Community Committee Inc.
  10. ^ "Protesters carry bridge row to the street". Sydney Morning Herald. AAP. 30 March 2009. 

Further reading

  • Lawrence, J; Warne, C (1995). A Pictorial History of Balmain to Glebe. Kingsclear Books. ISBN 0-908272-40-5. 
  • "Iron Cove Bridge". RTA Heritage and Conservation Register. Roads and Traffic Authority, New South Wales. 
  • "About Us". Website. Baulderstone Hornibrook. Retrieved 1 October 2006. 

External links

Media related to Iron Cove Bridge at Wikimedia Commons

  • Roads and Traffic Authority, New South Wales.
  • Inner West Busway (RTA).
  • Duplication proposal (RTA).
  • Local Images at InnerWest ImageBank
  • Local History Collection, Leichhardt Council
  • Victoria Road Community Committee Inc

Coordinates: 33°51′32″S 151°09′44″E / 33.858905°S 151.162254°E / -33.858905; 151.162254

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