After 65 years, it’s time to say goodbye to the old Batemans Bay Bridge

Kim Treasure 27 May 2021 121
Old Batemans Bay Bridge

The old Batemans Bay Bridge over Clyde River was opened in 1956. Photo: File.

The big job of bringing down Batemans Bay’s iconic bridge over Clyde River has begun, ending years of frustration for boaters and motorists, but changing the face of the seaside town forever.

For the past 65 years, the sight of the vertical lift truss bridge served as a welcome for residents and visitors, becoming synonymous with the town itself.

It replaced a motorised punt and initially revolutionised travel to the NSW South Coast. However, in recent years the bridge was plagued with mechanical problems and traffic jams caused by it lifting to allow river traffic underneath, and caused anger and inconvenience.

Now a new $274 million bridge has been built to take its place, and the old girl is coming down (video courtesy of Keith Doran).

River conditions permitting, the southernmost truss span is scheduled for removal this week, allowing free access upstream for vessels that previously had to wait for the bridge to be opened.

Transport for NSW regional director south Sam Knight said the removal of the southernmost truss span on Wednesday, 26 May, would allow a 15-metre navigation channel for marine vessels with 10-metre clearance at high tide to be opened temporarily in the following days, eliminating the need to operate the lift span.


READ ALSO: Emergency workers and Aboriginal Elders lead walk across new Batemans Bay Bridge


“Transport for NSW respectfully asks for patience and understanding from the community while the old structure is removed, as some of the work will take place outside standard construction hours,” said Ms Knight.

“Carrying out some of the bridge removal activities before dawn and at night will maximise use of favourable tides and wind speeds, with conditions often safer during these times.

“Working this way will also minimise impact on river users and ensure the old structure is removed as quickly and safely as possible.

“Transport for NSW is aiming to remove the old bridge before Christmas so here’s hoping we can deliver an early gift to a deserving community.”

Batemans Bay's new and old bridges over Clyde River

Batemans Bay’s new and old bridges side by side in January 2020. Photo: Alex Rea.

Low-impact barge movements will take place from 5:00 am to 7:00 am while removal work will be carried out between 7:00 am and 10:00 pm during weekdays, with processing to take place from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm on Saturdays, weather permitting.

All high-impact work will occur within standard construction hours of 7:00 am to 6:00 pm, except for Saturday between 1:00 pm and 6:00 pm, when processing work – which involves cutting steel and crushing concrete – will take place.


READ ALSO: Bidding farewell to the old Bay Bridge and its operators as new structure soars


Noise from these activities will impact nearby residents, but Transport for NSW is committed to minimising disruptions during this work, and will monitor noise and vibration impacts to determine if further mitigation is required.

Local residents and businesses have been engaged well ahead of time to ensure they are aware of, and prepared for, the work.

A barge on the downstream side of the old bridge will carry plant and equipment, while a temporary jetty has been constructed on the northern foreshore of Korners Park to allow transfer of old bridge components for processing.

For the safety of workers and river users, land-based span removal work will take place within the project boundary.

Batemans Bay's new and old bridges

The sight of Batemans Bay’s new and old bridges together won’t be around for much longer. Photo: Alex Rea.

River-based span removal work will occur within the marine exclusion zone that is bordered by safety buoys and signage at all times.

As work progresses, the marked navigation channel and marine exclusion zones will change.


READ ALSO: Work underway on next big Canberra-to-coast bridge project


All vessel operators and water users should keep a proper lookout, comply with local buoyage and signage, and exercise extreme caution when navigating near the works.

Original Article published by Kim Treasure on About Regional.


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121 Responses to After 65 years, it’s time to say goodbye to the old Batemans Bay Bridge
Natalie Lutan Natalie Lutan 6:39 pm 30 May 21

Rachael Corbett what omg

Andrew Small Andrew Small 10:42 pm 29 May 21

Now I will never fulfil my childhood dream of living in the "house" on top.

    Pauline Huntley Pauline Huntley 11:25 pm 29 May 21

    Andrew Small You and both my kids lol. Who are 25 and 27

Taneahh Mapiva Taneahh Mapiva 2:42 pm 29 May 21

Chloe Hartgrove Riley Millynn Kiara Arnold ooo next time it won't be there

    Riley Millynn Riley Millynn 11:04 am 30 May 21

    Taneahh Mapiva and I never even got to jump off it 😥🤣

    Chloe Hartgrove Chloe Hartgrove 11:46 am 30 May 21

    Riley Millynn more like you never would 🤣🤣🤣

    Riley Millynn Riley Millynn 11:51 am 30 May 21

    Chloe Hartgrove don’t know what your talking about, I never seen you do it ya hero 🤣🤣

    Chloe Hartgrove Chloe Hartgrove 3:43 pm 31 May 21

    Riley Millynn Never would 🤣🤣

Amanda Dunham Amanda Dunham 1:41 pm 29 May 21

Owen Dunham

Vina Jones Vina Jones 1:39 pm 29 May 21

First Gundagai...now B Bay Geri Dobson. Both close to home for you.

Ian Kirby Ian Kirby 12:05 am 29 May 21

Frances Love, we drove over this bridge just a month ago!!

    Kim Dowling Kim Dowling 3:21 pm 29 May 21

    Ian Kirby it’s been closed longer than that to vehicles.

    Ian Kirby Ian Kirby 4:25 pm 29 May 21

    Kim Dowling, thanks; must have been wishful thinking on my part! 🥴

Zena Wolba Zena Wolba 5:53 pm 28 May 21

Why though?

Kate Dacey Kate Dacey 1:05 pm 28 May 21

Robyn new one must be close!

    Robyn Tilley Robyn Tilley 3:55 pm 28 May 21

    Kate Dacey, new one is finished. Been over it twice now.

Jacob Davies Jacob Davies 11:44 am 28 May 21

Corey Connolly you gonna be okay ?

    Corey Connolly Corey Connolly 9:09 pm 29 May 21

    Jacob Davies it’s a sad time mate I’d rather not joke

Sue Salvestro Sue Salvestro 10:16 am 28 May 21

It’s been gone for quite a few months now

Mike Rogerson Mike Rogerson 9:33 am 28 May 21

When we had an SUV with an opening roof, we used to take our granddaughters down the coast. They loved it when we drove over the bridge and I always had to open the roof so that they could see the concrete weights that opened the bridge.

Also, I can remember the punts before the bridge was built. In those 67 years of crossing that bridge, I never saw it being opened for boats on the river.

Enid Bulman Enid Bulman 7:34 am 28 May 21

I haven't been to the Bay for years, but I'm guessing there's a new bridge somewhere?

Gayle Brooks Gayle Brooks 5:50 am 28 May 21

No more walks over the old bridge ☹️

John Moulis John Moulis 5:39 am 28 May 21

I felt a twinge of sadness and nostalgia over an historic structure being pulled down. There was an almost identical bridge built at the same time in my home town of Taree. But then I thought of those bank ups all the way up and across the roundabout as far back Nelligen and the Clyde every summer with the old bridge in operation.

Out with the old, in with the new. And I’m sure that the new bridge with its four-lane capacity will be a vast improvement on the old one.

Julia Nesbitt Julia Nesbitt 1:46 am 28 May 21

Oh some sadness but.....

Jarrod Paul Jarrod Paul 9:24 pm 27 May 21

Nooooooo!! That is the bridge of my childhood that always spoke “holidays” at Casey’s Beach Caravan Park. Sad 😞

Ros King Ros King 8:00 pm 27 May 21

Agree Elvia an icon

Ml Estrella Ml Estrella 1:17 pm 27 May 21

Oh no. Why can't they keep it.

Dorothy Wright (emanedoc73) Dorothy Wright (emanedoc73) 1:13 pm 27 May 21

My rare return visits to my home town will never be the same. 🙁

Bev Wallis Bev Wallis 12:34 pm 27 May 21

Disgraceful and disrespectful. Could have just taken out the middle bit, (that apparently is not working properly)and left the both ends.

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