main war memorial image Sydney Architecture Images- Pyrmont

Anzac Bridge (formerly Glebe Island Bridge)




between Pyrmont and Rozelle




Late 20th-Century Structuralist


suspension bridge, concrete pylons


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The ANZAC Bridge (formerly known as the Glebe Island Bridge), completed in 1996, is:

  • the longest cable-stayed bridge in Australia at 345 metres
  • amongst the longest concrete cable-stayed bridges in the world
  • a landmark visible from many of the city's inner metropolitan suburbs.

The bridge forms part of the Glebe Island arterial connecting Darling Harbour to the City-West Link Road.

The City West Link Road includes:

  • Extensive improvement to the intersection of Victoria Road and the Crescent, which has now been completed.
  • A new four lane arterial from the Crescent to Balmain Road, due for completion by 1999.
  • A link to Parramatta Road at Five Dock via Dobroyd Parade, due for completion by 2000.

ANZAC MEMORIAL - ANZAC Bridge and Digger Statue

main war memorial image

Forms part of the Western Distributor system, connecting the suburbs of Pyrmont to the East and Rozelle to the West.
NSW  2000

The ANZAC Bridge, formally known as the Glebe Island Bridge, was completed in 1996. With a span of 345 metres, it is the longest cable-stayed bridge in Australia.

In a ceremony on Remembrance Day 1998, it officially became known as the ANZAC Bridge and is a fitting memorial to members from both sides of the Tasman who formed the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps - the ANZACs.

Click for display of speech by the Premier of New South Wales, delivered at the ANZAC Bridge Dedication (PDF format)

Click for display of speech by Mr G E (Rusty) Priest, State President RSL of Australia (NSW Branch), delivered at the ANZAC Bridge Dedication (PDF format)

In recognition of the historic partnership, the Australian flag flies from the east pylon (city end) and New Zealand flag from the west pylon. A New Zealand born artist, Alan Somerville, sculptured the 4 metre high bronze World War One Digger (Australian soldier) featured at the west end of the bridge, dedicated on ANZAC Day 2000. SEE ADDITIONAL IMAGES for illustrations and further information.


Established: 1998

Dedication: 11 November 1998

Photographed and recorded by:
Roads and Traffic Authority NSW

Year Recorded: 2002  

Thanks to 

Helen Clark 28 April, 2008

Kiwi Soldier on ANZAC Bridge
Prime Minister Helen Clark's speech at the dedication ceremony and unveiling of sculpture of Kiwi Soldier on ANZAC Bridge, Sydney


The statue of a World War One New Zealand soldier on the ANZAC Bridge, Sydney.

Premier Morris Iemma, Ministers of the Government of New South Wales, Leader of the Opposition, Barry O’Farrell, representatives of the Parliaments of New Zealand and New South Wales, Chiefs of Defence, Lieutenant General Mataparae and Air Chief Marshall Houston, representatives of the Returned and Services League of Australia and the Royal New Zealand Returned and Services Association, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.

We gather here today for a very special ceremony – the dedication of the statue of a World War One New Zealand soldier on the ANZAC Bridge.

Since this bridge was renamed a decade ago, the flags of both our nations have proudly flown here.

And for the past eight years, a bronze statue of an Australian World War One soldier has graced the bridge too.

Now he is joined by his mate, symbolising the extraordinary and close friendship between New Zealand and Australia in times of war and peace.

Two days ago, we both commemorated ANZAC Day at home and around the world wherever our people gather.

April 25th is a day of remembrance and reflection for us both. So many have given their lives in the service of our countries.

But the fact that we share our remembrance day is also deeply symbolic. Our people were there together on Day One of the Gallipoli campaign ― as they had been together in South Africa, and were to go in very large numbers to France, Belgium, and Palestine in World War One, and to many other places in World War Two and subsequent deployments.

But it was from that doomed landing on the shores of Gallipoli that the ANZAC legend grew ― of strong and brave young soldiers from the uttermost ends of the earth who fought against incredible odds with great courage.

That is why their deeds and sacrifice inspire our peoples to this day.

That is also why their traumatic experience in 1915 is seen as a defining moment in the development of both our nations.

Thus this bridge bears a name which carries powerful symbolism - of remembrance, mateship, and nationhood - for New Zealand and Australia.

And that is why the New Zealand Government has been excited by this project to commission and dedicate a sculpture of one of our nation’s sons on the bridge.

This initiative gained momentum when the New South Wales branch of the RSL backed it at their 2005 annual conference.

The government of Premier Iemma was enthusiastic, and so was my government. We have embarked on this as a joint project between our governments ― in the ANZAC tradition.

We have been well served by Alan Somerville, our sculptor. Alan embodies the ANZAC tradition ― he has dual citizenship. He had already created the statue of the Australian soldier which stands here.

Creating this statue of the New Zealand soldier has been a huge project, involving many months of dedicated work and consultation by Alan Somerville.

The result is a sculpture in which we can all take enormous pride. Thank you, Alan, for what you have achieved for us all.

Today we reaffirm the bonds which exist between our countries ― and resonate strongly to this day.

The relationship we enjoy is “as close as it gets” between any two countries in the world.

Of course there’s plenty of friendly rivalry, and we do occasionally differ, but when the chips are down we know who we can count on.

Our economies are deeply intertwined, we share common value systems, and there are so many family links.

I thank you, Premier Iemma, and your government and the New South Wales RSL for your support of this project symbolising the friendship between our peoples.

It is indeed a proud day for New Zealand to have a statue of one of our own grace this bridge.

Helen Clark with NSW Premier Morris Iemma at statue dedication ceremony on ANZAC Bridge
Anzac Bridge Bruce Elder December 26, 2007 Copyright SMH

It is, by normal aesthetic standards, a bridge too big. This is a pity because looked at as a piece of design there can be little argument that Anzac Bridge is one of Sydney's most aesthetically pleasing structures.

And talk about a chequered history? There are no fewer than three plaques on the western end of the bridge and each attests to a certain kind of naming fickleness and, almost coincidentally, the transient nature of politicians.

The first declares that Glebe Island Bridge was "officially opened on Sunday, 3 December 1995". This opening was a Labor Party love-in attended by the local federal member, Peter Baldwin, he of the vicious bashing in 1980; Bob Carr, who was premier at the time; and Michael Knight, who held the interesting joint portfolios of Minister for Roads and Minister for the Olympics.

It is obvious that Carr just loved having official ceremonies on this bridge. Above the official opening plaque there's another, which reads: "This bridge was officially renamed Anzac Bridge on Remembrance Day 11 November 1998 by the Honourable Bob Carr MP Premier of New South Wales." Gone are Baldwin and Knight and in their place is the amusingly named (particularly for a bridge opening) "Rusty" Priest AM, president of the NSW branch of the RSL.

But that is not all. They were obviously a dynamic "opening duo" because there's another plaque, again featuring Carr and the Priest, celebrating the fact that two years later the Anzac Memorial (that's the statue of the digger with his head bowed) was officially unveiled "on Anzac Day 25 April 2000". Oh, yes, and at the Pyrmont side, where none of these official openings took place, there is a very simple little plaque that says "RTA 1995". Not a hint of vanity on the south side.

Part of the bridge's appeal is that it is a memorable walking, jogging or cycling experience. The starting point, at Quarry Master Drive in Pyrmont, looks more like an RTA folly than a bridge entrance. A huge concrete ramp sweeps around on such a gentle gradient that it seems designed to make the entrance to the bridge effortless for even the laziest of walkers.

The pathway is so wide that it is divided with each half being shared by pedestrians and cyclists. About halfway across the bridge you can look down on its predecessor, the old Glebe Island Bridge, which is now permanently open. Behind it there are rows and rows of new imported cars being landed at Glebe Island and, beyond, the Harbour Bridge rises behind the suburban density of Balmain and Pyrmont.

The bridge was built for a very simple reason: the old Glebe Island Bridge was low and needed to be opened regularly to allow shipping into Blackwattle Bay. This was causing traffic chaos on Victoria Road.

The Glebe Island Bridge was practical in 1901 when it was built. By the 1990s it was clearly inadequate. This handsome replacement, with its 120-metre pylons, is one of the longest concrete cable-stayed bridges in the world. Certainly, with a main span of 345metres, it is the longest cable-stayed bridge in Australia.

Historical pictures of old Glebe Island Bridge

The first access across Johnstons bay from Pyrmont to Glebe Island was via a timber bridge built in 1857. Called Blackbutts Bridge, it was a manual swing span bridge opening to allow shipping into Johnstons Bay and the adjacent Blackwattle and Rozelle bays.
early timber bridge
This picture, from a newspaper cutting, was taken around 1870 4.

In 1901 Blackbutts Bridge was replaced with a steel bridge with two fixed truss spans and an electrically operated swing span. The four lane bridge carried huge traffic loads and was in use until the opening of the new bridge in 1995.
1901 steel bridge
This picture, from the RTA publication, was taken in 1906 3.

view from old bridge
The swing span control cabin of the 1901 bridge with the western deck progressing in the background.

Thanks to 

  construction on the western endThe eastern pylon is built