Tom 'Diver' Derrick Bridge

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'Diver' Derrick Bridge
Coordinates 34°50′18″S 138°30′25″E / 34.838283°S 138.506806°E / -34.838283; 138.506806Coordinates: 34°50′18″S 138°30′25″E / 34.838283°S 138.506806°E / -34.838283; 138.506806
Carries Motor vehicles, pedestrians and bicycles
Crosses Port River
Locale Port Adelaide, Australia
Official name Tom 'Diver' Derrick Bridge
Design Single-leaf Bascule bridge
Total length 57.8 metres (189 ft)
Width 4 lanes
Height 10 metres (32 ft)
Opened Pedestrians - 01/08/2008, Road Traffic - 03/08/2008

The Tom 'Diver' Derrick Bridge, commonly referred to as the 'Diver' Derrick Bridge, is an opening single-leaf bascule bridge over the Port River, Port Adelaide. It was opened for traffic on 3 August 2008. The entire bridge project cost approximately $178 million. It is located between Docks 1 and 2 at Port Adelaide and links to Francis Street to the east and Victoria Road to the west.[1] It has been built at the same time as a rail bridge, the Mary MacKillop Bridge (34°50′16″S 138°30′25″E / 34.837887°S 138.506948°E / -34.837887; 138.506948), which is located right next to it.

The bridge was the subject of a successful community campaign, spearheaded by the local Semaphore & Port Adelaide RSL Sub-Branch and the Portside Messenger newspaper, to name it after Port Adelaide World War II hero, Tom 'Diver' Derrick VC, DCM instead of the State Government's unpopular choice of the 'Power Bridge'.


For years, debate raged in Port Adelaide about the need for a third crossing over the Port River, in addition to the existing Birkenhead Bridge and Jervois Bridge. Ideas for the crossing included an under-river tunnel, closed bridge, causeway and opening bridge. In the early 2000s the State Government announced the Port River Expressway project, a highway linking Port Adelaide to Adelaide's northern suburbs. The project included a closed bridge across the Port River. However the Port Adelaide community were concerned a closed bridge would cut-off the Port River and block larger boats from accessing the Port's inner harbour. After a strong community campaign, the State Government agreed to build a high-level single-leaf bascule opening bridge, instead of a closed bridge. AbiGroup was awarded the tender to build the bridge in 2005 and construction began the following year. The twin bascule bridges were designed by the New York City based engineering firm, Hardesty & Hanover, LLP. The bridge was expected to be complete in December 2007, but due to delays it was opened for vehicles on 3 August 2008.


Tom 'Diver' Derrick
Tom 'Diver' Derrick and Mary MacKillop Bridge raised

The road and rail bridges were originally referred to as the PRExy Bridges, short for Port River Expressway. In 2004, South Australian Premier Mike Rann announced the road crossing would be named the 'Power Bridge' after the Port Adelaide Football Club which had recently won the AFL premiership. The State Government later announced it would hold a public competition to name the second bridge. But in 2005, in the wake of the death of Pope John Paul II, Mr Rann announced the rail bridge would be named after Saint Mary MacKillop.

Later in 2005, it was suggested the bridge be named after Derrick. This idea gradually garnered grassroots support in Port Adelaide.[2] In May 2008, the Portside Messenger collected a 3500-signature petition in support of the Derrick name.[3] Port Adelaide-Enfield Council also unanimously supported naming the bridge after Derrick.

On 5 June 2008, the State Government announced it had changed its mind and would name the bridge after Derrick.[4][5] The Port Adelaide Football Club agreed to relinquish its naming rights to the bridge.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Stage 2 of the Port River Expressway". South Australian Department for Transport, Energy and Infrastructure. 25 June 2008. Archived from the original on 21 December 2007. Retrieved 2008-05-25. 
  2. ^ Todd, Adam (7 May 2008). "Diver would be proud of this". Portside Messenger. Retrieved 2008-06-25. 
  3. ^ Todd, Adam (28 May 2008). "A new dawn: We've taken too long on 'Diver' issue - Foley". Portside Messenger. Retrieved 2008-06-25. 
  4. ^ Todd, Adam (11 June 2008). "In honour of a true Port hero". Portside Messenger. Retrieved 2008-06-25. 
  5. ^ "Name backdown for new Port bridge". ABC News. 5 June 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-25. 

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