(Uhrs Point Bridge)
Ryde Bridge, viewed from Meadowbank in 2006.
|Carries||A3; (Road traffic, pedestrians, bicycles)|
|Locale||Ryde, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia|
|Owner||Roads & Maritime Services|
|Heritage status||Roads & Maritime Services heritage and conservation register|
|Preceded by||Single carriageway Ryde Bridge|
|Design||Truss vertical-lift bridge (inoperable)|
|Designer||NSW Department of Main Roads|
|Opened||7 December 1935
25 November 1988 (eastern bridge)
The Ryde Bridge, also called the Uhrs Point Bridge, comprising two steel truss inoperable vertical-lift bridges that spans the Parramatta River, are located west of the central business district of Sydney in New South Wales, Australia. The two bridges carry six lanes of the A3 from Ryde in Sydney's Northern Suburbs to Rhodes in Sydney's Inner West. The Ryde Bridge comprises two separate truss inoperable vertical-lift bridges carrying a northbound and a southbound carriageway respectively.
Ryde Bridge has rarity value at a State level and historical significance locally. Ryde Bridge spans the Parramatta River between Church Street in Ryde (Uhrs Point) and Concord Road in Rhodes, replacing an earlier ferry service between these two points established in the late nineteenth century. It is rare at a state level because it is the only lift span bridge on Sydney Harbour and its tributaries (although the mechanism to operate the vertical lift span has been removed). Ryde Bridge, constructed in 1935, is also a relatively rare example of a steel truss bridge with a lift span in NSW. It is similar to Hexham Bridge on the Hunter River in that both are moveable span bridges, although Ryde Bridge was designed and constructed around a decade earlier. By the early 1950s, the bascule span was the preferred option for bridges with opening spans, meaning that vertical lift span bridges such as Ryde Bridge were no longer being designed and built. Ryde Bridge has local historical significance because it is located at an important crossing over the Parramatta River, between Ryde and Rhodes, which was one of the narrowest points on the river. Ryde Council initiated the construction of the bridge in order to open up the municipality for suburban development. Thereafter, Ryde Bridge has provided an important transportation route for outer suburbs in the municipalities of Ryde and Hornsby to access Sydney by car.
The original Ryde Bridge was opened on 7 December 1935 by the Premier Bertram Stevens, accompanied by the Mayor of Ryde. The original bridge is a lift bridge, which was required to allow shipping to pass to the State Timber Yard then located on the southern bank of the Parramatta River, just west of the bridge. However the lifting mechanism was removed in the late 20th century and it has not been opened since. The bridge was paid for by the Ryde Council with the assistance of a grant from the New South Wales Government. The bridge carried a toll for 13 years until the bridge was paid for. Ownership was transferred to the Department of Main Roads.
A new bridge was built on the eastern or downstream side using steel trough girders, closed on top by a composite concrete running deck, and completed in 1987. The second bridge carries southbound traffic, with the original bridge carrying northbound traffic only. It was officially opened on 25 November 1988 by Premier Nick Greiner and Federal Minister For Transport Ralph Willis.
Before the original bridge was constructed, the Parramatta River was crossed in this area by a vehicular punt, just downstream of the Meadowbank railway bridge. The southern ramp still exists near the southern end of the railway bridge, however the northern ramp has been covered over by Meadowbank ferry wharf.
- "Ryde Bridge over Parramatta River". Heritage and conservation register, Roads & Maritime Services. Government of New South Wales. 2004. Retrieved 14 January 2015.
- "Ryde Bridge Opening By Premier". The Sydney Morning Herald (National Library of Australia). 9 December 1935. Retrieved 9 September 2010.
- RiverCat (9 December 1935). "Parramatta River Bridges" (PDF). Australian Society for History of Engineering and Technology. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
- "Hexham Bridge". eritage and conservation register, Roads and Traffic Authority (NSW). Government of New South Wales.
- Kass, Terry (February 2006). "RTA Thematic History: A component of the RTA Heritage and Conservation Register" (PDF). NSW Roads & Maritime Services (PDF) (2nd ed.). Government of New South Wales. Retrieved 12 January 2015.