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A web of steel and concrete: Design and construction of the Anzac Bridge

April 30, 2019 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

$10 – $12

In conjunction with the Australian Society for History of Engineering and Technology

The Anzac Bridge under construction [Image courtesy National Library of Australia]

In the 1980s the NSW Roads and Traffic Authority began the process of designing a new bridge to replace the low-level Glebe Island Bridge which had been in use since 1903. This bridge, one of the first to use an electric motor to open and close a swing span, connected the western part of the inner-city with Balmain, Rozelle, and suburbs further west, while allowing ships to enter and leave Rozelle Bay and Blackwattle Bay.

After considering site constraints and design options, engineers at the RTA proposed a cable-stayed design for the main span across Johnstons Bay. This design would require two tall towers, one at each side of the Bay, to support the cables which would hold up the road deck. This novel design was approved, amid much criticism of the tower heights and the visual impact the bridge would have when finished.

Construction of the massive piles and pile caps to support the towers commenced and these were completed in 1990. But, by then the NSW government had decided to delay the project until other sources of finance were found. Two years later the project resumed and in 1995 the new Glebe Island Bridge was opened.

About the speaker: Rob Renew was previously Principal Curator, Science & Industry at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney. He made many site visits to the new Glebe Island Bridge during its construction, to interview engineers involved in its design, and to document the innovative construction processes used. He authored a chapter in the book To build a bridge: Glebe Island Sydney Australia which showcases a selection of David Moore’s photographs. Rob is currently president of the Australian Society for History of Engineering and Technology Inc. (ASHET).



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April 30, 2019
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
$10 – $12


Royal Australian Historical Society
(02) 9247 8001


History House
133 Macquarie Street
Sydney, NSW 2000 Australia
+ Google Map
(02) 9247 8001

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