Heritage and conservation register

Item

Field Value
Name of Item Iron Cove Bridge
Item Number 4302673
Type of Item Built
Item Sub-Type Steel Truss
Roadloc  
Address **** Victoria Road Drummoyne 2047
Local Government Area **** 
Owner ****
Current Use Road bridge
Former Use Road bridge

Statement of significance

Field Value
Statement of significance The Iron Cove Bridge is an outstanding steel truss bridge which forms a local landmark that has a "gateway" quality for the suburbs of Balmain and Drummoyne due to its impressive size. The Bridge is comprised of aesthetically distinctive piers and abutments which reflect the Inter-War Art Deco style which was prevalent when it was first designed in 1942. Furthermore it was the last steel truss bridge to be constructed in NSW in which rivets were used for field connections prior to the introduction of high strength bolts. The Iron Cove Bridge has been assessed as being of State significance.
Date Significance Updated 21 July 2003

Description

Field Value
Designer ****
Builder ****
Construction years 1947 - 1955
Physical description The Iron Cove Bridge is an impressive steel truss bridge. It consists of four 18m plate girder approach spans and seven 52m steel Pratt truss spans for a total length of 461.26m (1,535ft 10in). Four lanes of traffic are located within the truss spans and the overall width of the roadway is 13.70m between kerbs. The roadway consists of a 127mm reinforced concrete deck slab with an inset for tram tracks in the centre portion.
Physical Condition
and/or
Archaeological Potential
Fair heritage condition.
Modifications and dates Replacement of the old bridge was decided upon immediately prior to the outbreak of war in 1939. In 1947, despite the significant backlog in bridge repairs, construction was commenced on a major new bridge across Iron Cove. In 2004 the bus lane deck was replaced. The railings were removed as part of the replacement to be reinstated later.
Date condition updated 08 July 2009

History

Field Value
Historical notes The Bridge was officially opened by the Hon. J.J. Cahill, MLA, Premier and Colonial Treasurer of NSW on the 30th July, 1955. The design of the bridge incorporates many elements of the Inter-War Art Deco style which was at its peak in Australia between 1915 and 1940.

Listings

Field Value
Heritage Listing Reference Number Gazette Number Gazette Page
Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage register       

Assessment of Significance

Field Value
Historical Significance After Hawkesbury River (1945) and Hexham Bridge (1952) it was the most substantial undertaking in the construction of a steel truss bridge by the DMR in the post war period. Like these, it stands out as a remarkable and optimistic achievement in the depressed economic conditions then prevailing. It served as a replacement for an earlier bridge which was constructed in 1881 which formed an important link in Sydney's electric tramway service. The Bridge has been assessed as fulfilling this criterion at a state level.
Historical Association The Bridge stands as a testament to the abilities of the DMR Bridge Designer Laurie Challis, this being the largest steel truss project he was associated with. The Bridge has been assessed as fulfilling this criterion at a local level.
Aesthetic/Technical Significance The Bridge exhibits the technical excellence of its design, as all the structural details are clearly visible. Unlike many bridges, it is particularly striking to those who use the Bridge because users are enveloped in the truss. Due to its impressive size it forms a local landmark that has a 'gateway' quality for the suburbs of Balmain and Drummoyne. The Bridge is comprised of aesthetically distinctive piers and abutments which reflect the Inter-War Art Deco style which was prevalent when it was first designed in 1942. The Bridge has been assessed as fulfilling this criterion at a state level.
Social Significance The Parramatta River is very popular with rowers and boating enthusiasts, and so the landmark of Iron Cove Bridge is highly valued by locals and tourists alike, giving them a sense of place. The community would therefore have a deep sense of loss should the Bridge be damaged or destroyed. It forms part of the Bay Run which is a popular walking and cycling route for residents of Rozelle, Drummoyne and Five Dock. In addition, the Bridge has contributed significantly to the social and commercial development of the suburbs around Drummoyne. The Bridge has been assessed as fulfilling this criterion at a state level.
Research Significance Steelwork for the superstructure was supplied and fabricated by the Clyde Engineering Co. Ltd, the firm which was integral in the construction of the Hawkesbury River Bridge in 1945 .A feature of the steel design is that the Bridge components clearly reflect the forces they are transmitting. Furthermore, it was the last steel truss bridge to be constructed in NSW in which rivets were used for field connections prior to the introduction of high strength bolts. The Bridge has been assessed as fulfilling this criterion at a state level.
Rarity Iron Cove Bridge is one of the largest (most spans) steel truss bridges constructed in NSW. Metal bridges are relatively rare in relation to the total road bridge population. It stands as a record of DMR optimism in the depressed period after war, and the Art Deco elements in its design are not seen on other bridges of this type. The Bridge has been assessed as fulfilling this criterion at a state level.
Representativeness The Bridge is an excellent example of its type, having the principal characteristics of this important class of bridges (ie the steel Pratt truss), but is outstanding because of its setting and size. Furthermore it possesses fine architectural detailing not seen on other bridges of this type. The Bridge has been assessed as fulfilling this criterion at a state level.
Integrity/Intactness ****
Assessed Significance State

References

Field Value
Type Author Year Title
Written  Ian Berger, RTA Environmental Technology  2003  Iron Cove Bridge Statement of Heritage Impact 

Study details

Field Value
Title Year Author Inspected by Guidelines used

Custom fields

Field Value
Roads and Maritime Services Region Sydney
Bridge Number 65
CARMS File Number ****
Property Number Bridge
Conservation Management Plan ****

Images

Detail of railing/traffic barrier with parallel line motif that echoes the stepped endposts.
Detail of railing/traffic barrier with parallel line motif that echoes the stepped endposts.
Iron Cove Bridge, Drummoyne
Iron Cove Bridge, Drummoyne
The piers built at Iron Cove Bridge with their Art Deco inspired vertical fins mark a singular removal from the octagonal cross-sectioned piers that were in general use for large steel truss structures.
The piers built at Iron Cove Bridge with their Art Deco inspired vertical fins mark a singular removal from the octagonal cross-sectioned piers that were in general use for large steel truss structures.
A view of the northern abutment viewed from the west showing the manner in which the separate elements combine to form a unified theme.
A view of the northern abutment viewed from the west showing the manner in which the separate elements combine to form a unified theme.
Detail of Art deco modelling on the deck in the form of the lamp posts.
Detail of Art deco modelling on the deck in the form of the lamp posts.


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