West Gate Bridge

The West Gate Bridge carries over 205,000 vehicles per day, providing a vital connection between Melbourne’s west and the CBD.

First open to traffic in 1978, the bridge spans 2.5 kilometres across the Yarra River with five lanes running in each direction.

On 15 October 1970, a 112-metre section of the bridge gave way, killing 35 workers and injuring 18 more.

A subsequent Royal Commission identified serious design flaws in the bridge, and a complete redesign was ordered. The disaster remains one of Australia’s worst industrial accidents.

Fifty years on from this tragedy, we pause to reflect on the lives lost and the lessons learned.