Sydney Harbour Bridge Arch Maintenance Units

We are proposing to replace the arch maintenance units that crews use to perform routine inspections, repair work and painting on the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The new units will provide better and safer access so we can preserve this iconic structure well into the future.

Latest news

DEC 2020

DEC 2020Submissions report

The Review of Environmental Factors Submissions Report (PDF, 619Kb) has been released. It outlines the feedback received and our responses.

Project information

The Sydney Harbour Bridge is a national icon providing a crucial connection for our city from north to south. Ensuring we carry out ongoing maintenance to the bridge is important so that we can preserve this iconic structure well into the future.

The existing arch maintenance units were upgraded in 1997 and no longer provide suitable and safe access to the arch of the bridge. We have developed a proposal to replace the existing four arch maintenance units with two new units that will provide better and safer access to the arch of the bridge.

One of the existing arch units

The proposal would involve replacing the four existing units with two new units. Each of the two new units would allow access for maintenance crews to carry out work such as routine inspections, repair work and painting. The units would travel up and down the arch on tracks. There would be one unit on either side of the arch.

Artist's impressions of the proposed new arch units

Artists impression of the new arch units, showing workers standing on the platform spanning both side of the bridge

Artists impression of a new arch unit on one side of the bridge, close up view

Artists impression of a new arch unit on one side of the bridge, distant view

The proposal would involve:

  • Removing the four existing arch maintenance units
  • Installing a new track system along the top section of the bridge arches
  • Installing two new arch maintenance units
  • Relocating the existing walkways on the bridge arch, from the centre to the outer edge.

Throughout the design process a number of options were considered when developing the proposal as it is today. These included upgrading the existing units, replacing the units with like for like new units and the preferred proposal to provide two new units. This option was selected because it provides a safe and efficient system to maintain the arch of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. While it does create a minor visual change to the bridge there is an overall benefit safety and to the life span of the iconic structure.

When carrying out any work on the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Transport for NSW work to minimise any heritage and visual impacts. The Sydney Harbour Bridge and its surrounds is a highly significant heritage item, listed on the NSW State Heritage Register and National Heritage List. The Review of Environmental Factors includes a detailed heritage report and visual impact assessment prepared by relevant specialists. The Heritage Council has also been consulted about the work and approval under the Heritage Act 1977 has been agreed. While the units would have a prepared visual impact on the bridge, they will provide improvements in critical maintenance activities and therefore contribute significantly to the longevity of the structure. Visual impacts from the Sydney Opera House have been assessed as minimal. Further detail about this and visual impacts from other areas can be found in the Review of Environmental Factors.

Project documents


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May 2020 Submissions report

Sydney Harbour Bridge – Replacement of Arch Maintenance Units.



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