Tasman Bridge Disaster Print Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Arthur Garland

The sculpture commemorates the Tasman Bridge disaster. It visually symbolises hope and growth via three central themes -- disaster, resilience and recovery. The piece, positioned on Montagu Bay, also draws the eye directly to the span of road that collapsed into the Derwent River. The rings of the sculpture contain a series of quotations.

In front of the sculpture is an information plaque detailing the tragedy.

The Tasman Bridge was open to traffic in August 1964. It was a four-lane high level concrete bridge contructed with a  central navigation span for shipping. Prior to 1964, a floating bridge spanned the Derwent.

On Sunday, 5 January 1975 at 9.27 p.m. the bulk carrier Lake Illawarra collided with the Tasman Bridge. Two piers collapsed along with 127 metres of bridge decking. Four cars ran over the gap into the Derwent River, five occupants died while several others managed to escape from two vehicles which teetered on the edge of the gap. Seven crewmen from the Lake Illawarra also lost their lives. The impact of the bridge collapse was quickly felt as Hobart was suddenly cut in two. Eastern shore residents were severely compromised, transport facilities were tested and to compound the issue further, most hospitals, schools, businesses and government offices were located on the western shore.

The sculpture consists of three ring like structures, the first is broken, representing the bridge has gone. The second is partially linked representing the use of water craft to link the shores of the river and the third is complete representing the repair of the bridge. If lined up the span that was knocked down is in the centre of the rings.


Address:Rosny Esplanade, Montagu Bay Reserve, Montagu Bay, 7018
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -42.865869
Long: 147.355164
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Sculpture
Monument Theme:Disaster
Sub-Theme:Land Transport
Actual Event Start Date:05-January-1975
Actual Event End Date:05-January-1975
Designer:Kelly Eijdenberg & Travis Tiddy (Poco People)


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Tuesday 1st October, 2013
Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au