Sea Cliff Bridge

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Sea Cliff Bridge
Sea Cliff Bridge from air.jpg
Coordinates34°15′14″S 150°58′26″E / 34.25389°S 150.97389°E / -34.25389; 150.97389Coordinates: 34°15′14″S 150°58′26″E / 34.25389°S 150.97389°E / -34.25389; 150.97389
CarriesMotor vehicles, pedestrians and bicycles
LocaleIllawarra, New South Wales, Australia
DesignBalanced cantilever [1]
MaterialSteel reinforced concrete [1]
Total length455.6 metres (1,495 ft) [1]
Height41 metres (135 ft) at highest point [1]
Longest span3 x 108 metres (354 ft) [1]
No. of spans5 [1]
Construction end9 December 2005 [1]
Opened11 December 2005 [1]

The Sea Cliff Bridge is a balanced cantilever bridge located in the northern Illawarra region of New South Wales, Australia. The $52 million bridge links the coastal villages of Coalcliff and Clifton. Featuring two lanes of traffic, a cycleway and a walkway, the bridge is a feature of the scenic Lawrence Hargrave Drive. The Sea Cliff Bridge is one of only seven off-shore parallel to coast bridges in the world.[2]


The Sea Cliff Bridge replaced a section of Lawrence Hargrave Drive that was permanently closed in August 2003 due to regular rock falls. A public outcry emerged over the road closure as Lawrence Hargrave Drive is the only road directly linking Coalcliff, Stanwell Park, Otford and Helensburgh to the northern suburbs of Wollongong.[3] The bridge was officially opened by NSW Premier Morris Iemma at a 'ribbon cutting' ceremony on 11 December 2005, and has met with great public approval and increased business for the area's tourism industry.[3]

The Sea Cliff Bridge was named by 11-year-old schoolgirl Makenzie Russell (St. Brigids)[4] following a naming competition opened to local primary school students.


The bridge sits in a harsh marine environment as it directly faces the open ocean and is affected by high sea swell splashing. It is well attested that concrete structures in such environments are especially susceptible to chloride induced corrosion of the steel reinforcement, which can eventually lead to pricey repair works and significantly decrease the life of the structure.[2][5]

On September 30, 2018, a 24-year-old Homebush West man hiked to the “lookout" atop the cliff overlooking the bridge, where he sat down to take a rest. The ground he sat on was loose, and he slid 20 metres (70 ft) to the cliff’s edge, where he then plummeted 40 metres (130 ft) to his death.[6]


An hour south of Sydney, the bridge has been a major tourist spot since it opened in 2005. It features a scenic walkway surrounded by rocky cliffs.[2] It is a popular location for Love padlocks.[7]

The iconic bridge has seen increasing number of tourists in the late 2010s due to social media and bushwalking blogs online.[citation needed] Popular bushwalking website Pioneer Walks published the route to the lookout and encourages spectators to participate in an "unofficial walk with no safety precautions in place".


In popular media[edit]

The Sea Cliff Bridge has been featured in a joint 2007 Ferrari/Shell Fuel television advert that was shown in many countries around the world including Australia.[8]

The bridge has also featured in other car advertisements around the world, including in VE Holden Commodore commercials.[9]

It is also featured in the video game, Forza Horizon 3, where players can race over the bridge.[citation needed]

In Guy Sebastian's music video for the song 'Choir', he is seen walking under the Sea Cliff Bridge.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Sea Cliff Bridge - Bridge Construction Statistics". Retrieved 23 May 2009.
  3. ^ a b "Sea Cliff Bridge - Why Was It Constructed ?". Retrieved 23 May 2009.
  4. ^ "Sea Cliff Bridge - Makenzie who?". Retrieved 2 February 2013.
  5. ^ Sinclair, M.R; Lawrence Hargrave Drive balanced cantilver and incremental launch bridges construction, Concrete 05, 2005
  6. ^ Illawarra Mercury
  7. ^ "Sea Cliff Bridge holds key to love". Retrieved 1 September 2011.
  8. ^
  9. ^

External links[edit]