Tasman Bridge Collapse

Before the disaster: the Tasman Bridge in 1960 (AOT, PH30/1/9621)

The Tasman Bridge Collapse meant the only road link across the Derwent in the Hobart metropolitan area was severed, when on 5 January 1975 a ship collided with the Tasman Bridge. For many of the approximately 40,000 people resident on the eastern shore, there were major disruptions to normal life in the 34 months that it took to repair the bridge. Relatively easy access to the facilities of the western shore was no longer available. Individuals, households, businesses and institutions reacted in ways that hastened the development of commercial and public facilities in Clarence. Other legacies of the accident include a back-up bridge at Risdon, an extra lane on the Tasman Bridge, uneven spacing of the replacement bridge supports and a small core of bridge collapse folklore.

Queues for the few available ferries across the river in the days after the disaster (AOT, PH30/1/1655)

Further reading: T Lee & L Wood, 'Adjustments in the urban system', Progress in Planning 15, 1981.

Les Wood