Roseville Bridge Chalks up Half Century

Friday, 1 April 2016

In 1966, Harold Holt was Prime Minister, Australian currency changed from the pound to the dollar, St George won the last of their 11 consecutive rugby league premierships and The Beatles and Rolling Stones were topping the charts.

The Roseville Bridge, which crosses Middle Harbour, was opened by then NSW Premier Robert Askin. This Saturday 2 April, marks exactly 50 years since the bridge’s official opening.

“Although it’s turning 50, this bridge is known as the New Roseville Bridge as it replaced the existing bridge first opened in 1924 which was the first structure to bridge the gap between the northern beaches and the rest of Sydney,” Mr O’Dea said.

“The old bridge remained as a pedestrian access until 1974, when it was removed. When the new bridge opened in 1966, it was used by around 20,000 cars a day. The approaches on Warringah Road were upgraded to six lanes to cater for future traffic growth.

“The bridge is now used by more than 65,000 cars a day, vindicating the Department’s decision to ensure six lanes of traffic across the bridge.

“All up, the bridge cost $4.4 million. By today’s standards this equates to more than $50 million to build, which seems like great value.”

Mr O’Dea said the concrete box girder Roseville Bridge is 377 metres and rises more than 17 metres above Middle Harbour.

Records from the then Department of Main Roads state the bridge’s design takes in the “sleek 1960s aesthetics and blends artistically with the steep slopes of the harbour foreshores’, taking advantage of the particularly scenic location.”

“The Department at the time took great care to preserve the surrounding natural environment during the building stage,” Mr O’Dea said.

“On the south side of the bridge, the final metre of vegetation clearing was done by hand to avoid disturbance to the nearby bushland.

“I wish the bridge a very happy 50th birthday and thank all involved in ensuring it continues to safely serve the community,” Mr O’Dea concluded.

Media: For further details, please contact the office of Jonathan O'Dea on 9880 7400

View the original media release.

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