Pyrmont Bridge

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Pyrmont Bridge

The Pyrmont Bridge is a swing bridge over Cockle Bay in Darling Harbour (part of Port Jackson) in Sydney, Australia.

History and description[edit]

Pyrmont Bridge circa 1902 - 1917
The point at which the bridge turns

The first Pyrmont Bridge was opened on 17 March 1858,[1] and was a wooden pile bridge with an iron centre swing span. This bridge was demolished around the time new Pyrmont Bridge was opened in 1902.

The foundation stone for the new bridge was laid on 6 December 1899 by the E. W. O'Sullivan and the bridge was opened for traffic on 28 June 1902 by the Governor of New South Wales, Harry Rawson.[2]

The engineer was Percy Allan (1861–1930). The bridge had one of the largest swing spans in the world and it was one of the first to be powered by electricity. The Pyrmont swing bridge is not to be confused with the similar Glebe Island Swing Bridge also engineered by Percy Allan a year later in 1903.

The bridge was closed to vehicular traffic on 7 August 1981,[3] the traffic having been diverted over new freeway structures built further south of Cockle Bay, and it was then re-opened as a pedestrian bridge as part of the re-development of Darling Harbour as a recreational pedestrian precinct.

The swing bridge remains in operation, and opens to a schedule managed by the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority.[4]

In 1992 Engineers Australia has recognised the bridge as a National Engineering Landmark.[5]


Between 1988 and 2013, the bridge carried the elevated Sydney Monorail, which travels between Darling Harbour and the Sydney central business district. The monorail track rested on a pivot that allowed the track to remain stationary while the bridge swung underneath, so monorails could continue to cross even when the bridge was opened.

Upon the closure in June 2013 the monorail, hydraulic lifting rams and support infrastructure were be removed, and the Control Cab relocated to its original position in the middle of the bridge.[6]


See also[edit]


"Pyrmont Electric Swing Bridge" in "The Engineer" (London) volume 123, 1917, pages 75–8, 84, 103-6, 110, 124-6, 132, 150-3.

  1. ^ "Notes of the Week". The Sydney Morning Herald. 22 March 1858. Retrieved 10 September 2010. 
  2. ^ "The New Pyrmont Bridge". Sydney Morning Herald. 30 June 1902. Retrieved 10 September 2010. 
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Pyrmont Bridge". Engineering Heritage National Landmarks. Engineers Australia. Retrieved 30 December 2013. 
  6. ^ "PYRMONT BRIDGE Monorail Removal Project". Transport for NSW. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 33°52′14″S 151°12′02″E / 33.870575°S 151.200667°E / -33.870575; 151.200667