Swansea Bridge

Swansea Bridge

The NSW Government provides funding for biannual essential maintenance work to ensure the safe and reliable operation of the bridge.

Project information

Lake Macquarie is the largest saltwater lake in Australia and four times the size of Sydney Harbour. It plays an important role in the region for diving, boating, leisure and tourism activities.

More than 27,000 road vehicles use Swansea Bridge each day. The pedestrian and cycleway paths on both bridges provide both recreational and commuting access.

The bridge opens about 2000 times each year, which is around five to six times per day, allowing up to 4500 boats to pass through each year.

Find out more information about bridge opening times.

The original channel crossing at Swansea was a drawbridge built in the early 1880s. This was replaced in 1909 with a bridge which incorporated a roadway, later to become the Pacific Highway.

The current crossing has two opening bridges spanning the entrance to Lake Macquarie. The older northbound bridge was opened in 1955 and the second southbound bridge was opened in 1989. Each of the bridges contains two lanes for traffic and provides pedestrian and cycleway access.

Monthly maintenance on Swansea Bridge is generally carried out on the first Tuesday of every month.

The mechanical, electrical and hydraulic components of the bridge are checked and inspected. The inspections require test lifts, which are done outside bridge opening times over a two to three hour period. This is carried out after the morning peak to minimise the impact on Pacific Highway traffic.

The bi-annual service of Swansea Bridge usually takes place over four nights in May and October each year. The work is carried out at night to minimise disruption to traffic. One bridge remains open for both directions of traffic (one lane in each direction) while work is undertaken on the other bridge.

The hydraulic, electrical and mechanical components are inspected and tested to ensure they are in good working condition. Emergency systems are also checked. If necessary, components are repaired or replaced. Bi-annual servicing provides an opportunity to undertake other work while there is no traffic on the bridge.

The bascule (opening section of the bridge) will not be in operation during the bi-annual service. Boats will not be able to pass through the Swansea Bridge navigation channel. There are a number of moorings located to the east and west of the bridge to help minimise the impact of reduced access in the channel.

Transport for NSW will work with the community to provide information about maintenance at the bridge as early as possible to reduce the impacts of closures.

Depending on the maintenance work required, Transport for NSW will advise the local community through:

  • Letterbox drops
  • Electronic message signs on the approaches to the bridge
  • Traffic alerts to local media
  • Marine community alerts through the Swansea coastguard
  • Social media.

For more information on opening times, booking details and rules for boats travelling through Swansea Bridge visit the Swansea Bridge openings page.

Project documents

Community updates

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October 2022 project notification

Night work on Swansea Bridges, Swansea from Monday 31 October.

October 2021 project notification

Night work on Swansea Bridges, Swansea from Monday 18 October

May 2021 Project notification

Night work on Swansea Bridges, Swansea from Monday 24 May

April 2021 project notification

Changes to the bridge opening schedule on Swansea Bridge, Swansea from Monday 19 April

October 2020 project notification 197Kb
May 2020 project notification 199Kb
October 2019 project notification 186Kb
May 2019 project notification 296Kb


Contact us

For further information about this project contact Project Manager, Gavin Jenkins on:

Phone: (02) 4908 7601 (during business hours)

Email: gavin.jenkins@transport.nsw.gov.au

Mail: Transport for NSW, Locked Bag 2030, Newcastle NSW 2300

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