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]

Sea Cliff Bridge has become a place of many accidental deaths, as admirers hike to the top of the cliff to see the bridge from above. Popular bushwalking website Pioneer Walks published the walk and encouraging spectators to participate in an "unofficial walk with no safety precautions in place". Since the website has promoted this walk, the death toll has continued to rise. On September 30, a 24-year-old Homebush West man was at the “lookout" with friends when he sat down to take a rest. He sat on loose ground and slid 20 metres to the cliff’s edge, where he then plummeted 40 metres to his death, as reported by the Illawarra Mercury.


An hour south of Sydney, it has been a major tourist spot since it opened in 2005, which features an scenic walkway surrounded by rocky cliffs.[2] It is a popular location for Love padlocks.[6]

The iconic bridge has been having an increasing number of tourists visit due to social media and bushwalking blogs online. Popular bushwalking website "Pioneer Walks" tells users how to get to the unofficial lookout above sea cliff bridge which has appeared in many car commercials, Forza 3 and tourism Australia campaigns.


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.[7]

The bridge has also featured in other car advertisements around the world, including in VE Holden Commodore commercials.[8]

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

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Sea Cliff Bridge - Bridge Construction Statistics". Retrieved 2009-05-23.
  3. ^ a b "Sea Cliff Bridge - Why Was It Constructed ?". Retrieved 2009-05-23.
  4. ^ "Sea Cliff Bridge - Makenzie who?". Retrieved 2013-02-02.
  5. ^ Sinclair, M.R; Lawrence Hargrave Drive balanced cantilver and incremental launch bridges construction, Concrete 05, 2005
  6. ^ "Sea Cliff Bridge holds key to love". Retrieved 2011-09-01.
  7. ^
  8. ^

External links[edit]