The iconic Lorne Swing Bridge was originally built in 1937.
The bridge is loved, used and valued by the local Lorne community and visitors alike. This long-standing icon marks where the Erskine River meets the sea and has been an integral part of the Lorne community
The structure is an important landmark along Victoria’s Great Ocean Road, which attracts more than 8.2 million people to the region annually. It is a critical link in Lorne connecting the foreshore region which is populated with various camping grounds to the commercial side of Lorne.
More recently, the Lorne Swing Bridge has undergone a major rebuild following a detailed structural survey of the bridge leading to its temporary closure early in 2013.
After 76 years, the structure had been deemed unsafe and subsequently closed to the public.
Citywide was contracted to undertake the physical replacement of the bridge and was not involved in the design of the new bridge or the replacement of the abutments at either end of the bridge. The aim of the project was to retain the original appearance of the Lorne Swing Bridge and use 'like for like' materials where possible.
To comply with modern engineering and safety requirements, some steel components had to be used, but in the same shape as the original structure. Citywide worked with a third party manufacturer to ensure that bridge components were constructed to the highest standards of safety.
Throughout the process, Citywide’s engineers were faced with the challenge of safely removing the old structure in a manner that posed little or no harm to the environment. This included no debris falling into the river, no contaminants left in the water, and no damage done to the pristine coastal environment.
The intensive reconstruction process included the use of a 220 tonne capacity crane to install the components, which were built off-site. Witnessing the crane ease the new bridge into place was a once in a lifetime experience that attracted crowds of onlookers.
The works ensured that a special part of Lorne was protected for the enjoyment of future generations.
The historical significance of the bridge was an important consideration during the reconstruction works.
The aim of the project was to retain the original appearance of the bridge and use like for like materials wherever possible whilst adhering to modern engineering and safety requirements which was a complex task, but one which was achieved.
The Bridge was officially reopened by the Hon Terry Mulder MP, marking the completion of this $527,000 restoration project to reinstate this historically significant structure. The reconstruction project a collaborative effort that was made possible thanks to $220,000 from the Victorian Government Regional Growth Fund, $182,000 from the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee, $75,000 from the Surf Coast Shire and $50,000 from the Department of Environment and Primary Industries.
Citywide is proud to have been involved in the reconstruction of a piece of infrastructure as close to the heart of the Great Ocean Rd community as the Lorne Swing Bridge.
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