Bridges, tunnels and ferries

Roads and Maritime Services maintains 5071 bridges, 22 tunnels and vehicular ferries at nine locations in NSW. Bridges are key links in the transport network. Bridges allow safe, effective and reliable access for the movement of people and goods over streams, roads, railways and other obstacles.

Bridges are important in both social and economic terms by benefiting communities and facilitating the growth of the National and State economies. Bridges are long term assets.

The management of the State's bridges must therefore be planned with a long-term view to ensure optimum value is achieved.

Bridge maintenance includes inspection, analysis of bridge condition, prioritisation, programming and carrying out work on bridges. The purpose of bridge maintenance is to ensure:

  • Bridges can carry legal loads and maintain other functional capabilities and serviceability.
  • The risk to the value and integrity of bridges are minimised.

Timber bridge management

Roads and Maritime Services is often requested to replace or significantly upgrade many of the remaining timber bridges on NSW roads. Many of these bridges have heritage significance, especially those with truss designs. Several have recently been listed on the NSW State Heritage Register.

Most of the timber road bridges in NSW that have not been upgraded are nearing the end of their service lives.  Decisions need to be made about how best to manage them, with consideration both of their heritage significance and of current and future transport needs.

Roads and Maritime's Timber Bridge Management Strategy provides clear direction for the management of Roads and Maritime Services' timber bridges, taking account of all the competing factors affecting their future, especially heritage, safety and access issues.

Murray River crossings

Roads and Maritime Services and VicRoads fund and manage the Murray River crossings under an agreement (2001) between the two states.  

The 29 bridges and two ferries form vital links between communities on both sides of the Murray River. They also provide connection between regional and capital centres in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Queensland.

Many of the bridges have state and local heritage significance.

The maintenance and replacement strategy is developed through ongoing liaison between Roads and Maritime and VicRoads. Maintenance is delivered by Roads and Maritime Services and replacement projects managed by Roads and Maritime or VicRoads depending on available resources.

Opening bridges

Some bridges maintained by Roads and Maritime Services have opening spans to facilitate the movement of marine traffic under low bridges. These include Spit Bridge in Sydney and the Swansea Bridge in the Hunter region.

Heritage bridges

Details of heritage bridges maintained by Roads and Maritime Services can be found at the Roads and Maritime Services Heritage and Conservation Register.


There are 22 tunnels managed by Roads and Maritime Services in NSW, including eight motorway tunnels.

The 14 smaller tunnels listed below are managed and maintained by Roads and Maritime Services:

  • Airport Tunnel - General Homes Drive, Mascot.
  • Kings Cross Tunnel - over William Street, Kings Cross.
  • Tunnel South Bound - on State Highway 10 under Cudgen Road, 75.6 km North Ballina.
  • Tunnel North Bound on State Highway 10 - under Cudgen Road 75.6km North Ballina.
  • Cahill Expressway - under Bradfield Highway, Sydney.
  • Onload Ramp - under Victoria Road (Main Road 165), Rozelle.
  • Tunnel on Transitway - under WestPoint, Blacktown.
  • Cahill Expressway - under Botanic Gardens, Sydney.
  • Tunnel - under Mulgoa Road, Jamisontown.
  • Tunnel on M5 - under Cooks River, Arncliffe.
  • Fauna Overpass - southbound Pacific Highway, North Kempsey.
  • Underpass - on Castle Hill and Pennant Hills roads, Beecroft.
  • Underpass - Hawkesbury Valley Way, Windsor.
  • Underpass - under westbound Mona Vale Road (Main Road 162), Terry Hills.

Vehicle ferries

Vehicle ferries provide safe conditions for road users to cross waterways where bridges are not provided. Timetable information is available through the link below.

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