Lake Macquarie History

The Swansea Bridges

To date there have been four bridges spanning the entrance to Lake Macquarie. The first Swansea Bridge, built in 1881 was made mostly of timber. It was used as a means of transporting stone by train and truck from the southern end of the lake to build the break wall on the northern side of the entrance.

From 1895 onwards the bridge became part of the public roadway and by 1908 was in need of repair and scheduled for replacement.

photo:swansea bidge

The second Swansea Bridge was contracted to be built by Peter Callen & Sons of Newcastle and was constructed mainly from timber beams with a steel girder bascule opening span. It opened on 27th November 1909.

A third bridge was opened in 1955 and a fourth in 1989. There are now northbound and southbound lanes on what is known as a medium level, twin opening bridge. It has survived controversy, concerns about sinking, threats of being replaced by a tunnel, traffic delays and failure to open. The bridge is now an essential link between Blacksmiths and Swansea and an integral part of the Pacific Highway. Swansea Bridge is capable of opening on the hour when requested by marine craft, and is now used by over 30,000 vehicles per day, along with pedestrians and cyclists.