The Gladesville Bridge, once the world’s longest concrete arch span bridge and the first large bridge designed with the aid of computers, has been awarded an Engineering Heritage International Marker.
“Today marks the 50th anniversary of the Gladesville Bridge opening. This global engineering icon represents a significant advancement in bridge design and construction,” said Alexandra Meldrum, President of Engineers Australia’s Sydney Division.
“It was a bold and ambitious project conceived and constructed during the Australian post war-expansion of the 1950s and 60s.
Stretching 305 metres across the Parramatta River, it held the title of world’s longest concrete arch span bridge from its completion in 1964 through to 1980. To achieve this length, the engineers implemented several innovative methods, which have since become widely adopted.
“Anthony Gee of G. Maunsell & Partners designed the bridge in the sixties, writing a suite of computer programs to capitalise on the newly discovered power of computers. This makes the Gladesville Bridge one of the first computer designed bridges.
“The engineers also used precast concrete segments which was a first for a major concrete arch bridge, marking the shift away from steel which had dominated bridge construction at the time.
“If you stand at Huntleys Point you can see how bridge building has evolved – from the steel Sydney Harbour Bridge, to the precast concrete Gladesville Bridge, through to the modern cable-stayed ANZAC Bridge.
“It is wonderful to see the enduring quality of this feat of engineering which fifty years on, still forms an essential link between Gladesville and Drummoyne, transporting hundreds of Sydney-siders each day,” said Ms Meldrum.