Iron Cove Bridge

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Iron Cove Bridge
Iron Cove Bridge.JPG
Official name Iron Cove Bridge
Carries Motor vehicles, pedestrians and bicycles
Crosses Iron Cove
Locale Sydney, Australia
Maintained by Roads and Traffic Authority
Design Truss bridge
Total length 1,535 feet (461.26 m)
Width 44.95 feet (13.70 m)
Opened July 1955

Iron Cove Bridge is a heritage listed bridge linking the suburbs of Drummoyne to Rozelle in New South Wales, Australia.[1]


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. All that remains 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.[2]


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.

Original Iron Cove Bridge c1889. Courtesy State Library of Victoria.
Iron Cove Bridge duplication


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[edit]

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.[3]

The new bridge has been constructed on the western side of the existing bridge and holds three westbound traffic lanes with one lane designated as an AM 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 wide pedestrian and cycle path on the western side of the new bridge which connects to both the 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. [4]

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 [5] and organized public demonstrations, the last of which on Sunday 29 March 2009 attracted over 3000 protest marchers.[6] Opposition to the new bridge is 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[edit]

In 2009 the Government planned to build a duplicate bridge and it had a 4.3 metre pedestrian and cycle path.


  1. ^ "Iron Cove Bridge". NSW Heritage Office. Retrieved 2006-12-25. 
  2. ^ "Iron Cove Bridge Abutment". NSW Heritage Office. Retrieved 2006-12-25. 
  3. ^ New South Wales Government; News Release - $100 Million Victoria Road Upgrade; 20 November 2006. [1]
  4. ^ O'rourke, Jim (30 January 2011). "Inner-west's bridge of sighs". The Sydney Morning Herald. 
  5. ^ Victoria Road Community Committee Inc.
  6. ^ AAP; "Protesters carry bridge row to the street"; Sydney Morning Herald 30 March 2009.[2]

External links[edit]

Media related to Iron Cove Bridge at Wikimedia Commons

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