27 November 2012, 10.43 AM
Sea Cliff Bridge
The Sea Cliff Bridge is a balanced cantilever bridge located in the northern Illawarra region of New South Wales, Australia. The $52 million bridge links the coastal villages of Coalcliff and Clifton. Featuring two lanes of traffic, a cycleway and a walkway, the Sea Cliff Bridge boasts spectacular views and is a feature of the scenic Lawrence Hargrave Drive.
The Sea Cliff Bridge replaced a section of Lawrence Hargrave Drive that was permanently closed in August 2003 due to regular rock falls. A public outcry emerged over the road closure as Lawrence Hargrave Drive is the only road directly linking Coalcliff, Stanwell Park, Otford and Helensburgh to the northern suburbs of Wollongong. The bridge was officially opened by NSW Premier Morris Iemma at a ‘ribbon cutting’ ceremony on 11 December 2005, and has met with great public approval and increased business for the area’s tourism industry.
The Sea Cliff Bridge was named by 11 Year old schoolgirl Makenzie Russell (St. Brigids) following a naming competition opened to local primary school students. It is a popular location for Love padlocks. The Sea Cliff Bridge is one of only seven off-shore parallel to coast bridges in the world.
The award-winning, off-shore and parallel-to-coast Sea Cliff Bridge forms part of the Grand Pacific Drive and is located on scenic Lawrence Hargrave Drive, 60 kms south from central Sydney (or 23 kms north of Wollongong). It was opened on December 11, 2005, at a total cost of A$52 million.
The Bridge provides road, pedestrian and cycleway access it’s entire length (665 metres) and spectacular views. Like the Bridge, Grand Pacific Drive never loses sight of the sea. It hugs the coast between the high battlements of the Illawarra Escarpment, looming like the great wall of a lost world, and the vastness of the Tasman Sea, an ocean view so wide you can see the curve of the Earth. Looking south, the “Coast with the Most” is scalloped with bays, and world class surf beaches all the way to Wollongong and beyond.
Why was it constructed? In August 2003, a large embankment slip indefinitely closed Lawrence Hargrave Drive between Coalcliff and Clifton, a stretch of road area notorious for rock falls and closures. But community protest at this closure was fierce, and a permanent fix was demanded from the NSW Government. Over two years later, Sea Cliff Bridge provided that fix, and the road reopened, finally Bridging the Cliff and the Sea and Community.