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Westgate Bridge Memorial ParkPrint Page Print this page

Westgate Bridge
Westgate Bridge

Photographs supplied by Kent Watson / Graeme Saunders

The Westgate Bridge Memorial Park commemorates those who lost their lives during the construction of the West Gate Bridge in 1970, and as a result of the Spotswood Yarra Sewer Tunnel collapse in 1895.

The park, opened on 15 October 2004, the 34th anniversary of the disaster, embraces the existing West Gate Bridge Memorial and Sculpture, the Spotswood Sewer Tunnel Memorial, and complements Industrial Deaths Support and Advocacy (IDSA) Workers’ Memorial erected at Victorian Trades Hall Council.

Located on the actual site of the Bridge’s collapse, the Memorial Park is evocative of the tragedy of workplace accidents while honouring the notion of work.

The redevelopment of the West Gate Memorial Park was made possible with $250,000 from the Victoria Government’s Community Support Fund, which returns gambling revenue to new projects in partnership with the community. WorkCover, Parks Victoria and VicRoads have also each contributed $250,000 towards the cost of the project. It is maintained by Parks Victoria.

The West Gate Bridge is over 2.5 kilometres in length, with a main river span of 336 metres. It has a navigational clearance to low water of 53.7 metres and its two towers stand 102 metres high .

Built at a cost of $202 million, construction work commenced on 22 April 1968 and was eventually completed on 15 November 1978.

During its construction an accident occured that has permanently linked West Gate Bridge as Australia’s single worst ever workplace catastrophe.  At 11.50 am on 15 October 1970, the bridge’s 112 metre span 10-11 collapsed during construction, killing 35 workers and injuring many more.

Another plaque was added in proximity of the monument in 2010 during strengthening work on the bridge and commemorates those who lost their lives in the bridge collapse of 1970. 

Location

Address:Hyde Street, Under West Gate Bridge, Spotswood, 3015
State:VIC
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.827491
Long: 144.894986
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Park
Monument Theme:Disaster
Sub-Theme:Industrial
Actual Event STart Date:15-October-1970
Actual Event End Date:15-October-1970

Dedication

Actual Monument Dedication Date:Friday 15th October, 2004
Front Inscription

WESTGATE
bridge memorial park

 

Construction Workers employed on Westgate Bridge erected and dedicated this memorial to their 35 workmates who were killed when a span of the bridge collapsed during construction at 11.50 a.m. 15th October 1970.

Our comrades who lost their lives were
(35 names and trades).
In memory of workers of all lands who are killed in industrial accidents

Inscription in Proximity

2010

Forty years after the tragedy of 1970, the workers of the WEST GATE BRIDGE strengthening project remember the sacrifices of an earlier generation. They left us a mighty legacy.  The struggle continues and in the words of a great philosopher - "Now and then the workers are victorious, but only for a time.  The real fruit of their battle lies, not in the immediate result, but in the ever expanding union of the workers."

Source: MA,RUMV,VMR,ACPH
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