ANZAC Bridge in Sydney

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The ANZAC Bridge or Anzac Bridge (both forms are used by the Roads and Traffic Authority), replacing the earlier Glebe Island Bridge, is a large cable-stayed bridge spanning Johnstons Bay between Pyrmont and Glebe Island (part of the suburb of Rozelle) in proximity to the central business district of Sydney, Australia. The bridge forms part of the Western Distributor freeway leading from the Sydney CBD and Cross City Tunnel to the suburbs of the Inner West and Northern Sydney.


Glebe Island Bridge

There have been two bridges over Johnstons Bay prior to the construction of the ANZAC Bridge.

The first bridge was constructed as part of a project to move the abattoirs out of central Sydney, and to construct public abattoirs at Glebe Island. The first pile of the original bridge was driven in October 1860. The bridge was opened in 1862 and was a timber beam bridge 1,045 ft 5 in. (318.6 m) long and 28 ft wide with a 40 ft swing section on the eastern side. It replaced a double steam punt crossing.<ref name=smh_first_pile/>

The second Glebe Island bridge was an electrically operated swing bridge opened in 1903, the year after the opening of the new Pyrmont Bridge over Sydney's Darling Harbour. The bridge was designed by Percy Allan of the New South Wales Public Works Department who also designed the Pyrmont Bridge. Delays due to increasing traffic which were exacerbated by having to close a major arterial road to allow the movement of shipping into Blackwattle Bay led to the construction of the present-day ANZAC bridge. The 1903 bridge is still standing (2011), but there is no access to pedestrians or vehicular traffic.

ANZAC Bridge

The new bridge was built by Baulderstone and opened on December 3, 1995,.

The bridge was given its current name on Remembrance Day in 1998 to honour the memory of the soldiers of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who served in World War I. An Australian Flag flies atop the eastern pylon and a New Zealand Flag flies atop the western pylon. A bronze memorial statue of an Australian ANZAC soldier ("digger") holding a Lee Enfield rifle in the "rest on arms reverse" drill position was placed on the western end of the bridge on ANZAC Day in 2000. A statue of a New Zealand soldier was added to a plinth across the road from the Australian Digger, facing towards the east, and was unveiled by Prime Minister of New Zealand Helen Clark in the presence of Premier of New South Wales Morris Iemma on Sunday 27 April 2008.


The ANZAC Bridge is the longest span cable-stayed bridge in Australia. The bridge is 32.2 m wide and the main span is 345 m long. The reinforced concrete pylons are 120 m high and support the deck by two planes of stay cables. Initially the stay cables were plagued by vibrations which have since been resolved by the addition of thin stabilising cables between the stay cables.

There is a pedestrian path / bikeway that runs along the northern side of the bridge, making possible a leisurely 30-40 minute walk from Glebe Point Road, down Bridge Road, over the Bridge and round Blackwattle Bay back to Glebe Point Road.

The bridge was criticised by some as over-engineered because its size and cost were justified in order to permit shipping into Johnstons Bay. However, this bay ceased to have substantial use for shipping soon after construction was completed.

The bridge is now regularly patrolled by security guards as a counter-terrorism measure. Security cameras also monitor the walkway

Popular culture

The original bridge is mentioned in the first line of the You Am I song "Purple Sneakers", which was first released in 1995. As it was not named "ANZAC Bridge" at the time, Tim Rogers' lyric is "Had a scratch only you could itch / underneath the Glebe Point bridge".

See also

  • List of longest cable stayed bridges


External links