German four-masted barque GUSTAV passing through Glebe Island Bridge Flickr: Australian National Maritime Museum on The Commons' Photostream,
Addendum 5 Nov 2013: The Gustav is a large sailing vessel, being of 2691 tons. Her masts are 163ft from the deck to the truck and the mainyards are 98ft in length...1926 'GERMAN BARQUE.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 20 December, p. 12, viewed 5 November, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16341853


The Glebe Island Bridge is one of the earliest examples of an electrical powered bridge of its type in the world.

When assessed against all the criteria for significance as an Heritage Item of NSW, it clearly fits them all.

a) Historical Significance

An international competition to design the bridge 1891 with final decision made in 1897. Engineer Percy Allan, with his assistant E M. De Burgh--along with Messrs Roberts, Dare and Bradfield--then designed the Glebe Is Br with its electrically operated swing span. The names of those involved are also of historic significance in the history of Sydney's bridge building.

The significance of its design, construction, and the duration of its function over nearly 100 years (with the great changes in modes of transport and huge increases in volumes of vehicles) is of considerable historic significance. in fact, it could still be functioning today, but was replaced in 1995 by the Anzac Br..

b) Associative Significance

All engineers referred to under "Historical" above--Allan, Bradfield, De Burgh--and were part of the then NSW Dept of Public Works which itself was of historic significance.

c) Aesthetic Significance

The physical appearance of the bridge as it spans across the bayeffectively joining the CBD with Balmain and the suburbs beyond, is impressive.
Its innovative design and construction were a significant technological achievement for the era in which it was built.

Innovations included--the size of the opening span
the speed with which it opened the development of steel trusses caisson construction design of the swing span bearing use of electric power in operating the span

d) Social Significance

It has a history of use for 100 year period, and can again become a functioning piece of Sydney's history, as a pedestrian and cycle way again joining the CBD with balmain and suburbs beyond.

e) Research Potential

As it is virtually in its original condition, and can still function then it would havee researchvalue in its desgn, construction and materials used as well as in its technology.

f) Rarity

It is one of only two suchelectrically operated swing span bridges in Australia. Its rare and still operable Mercury-arc Rectifier and some early silicon rectifiers--all of which are generally seen only in a museum, add to its "rarity" significance.

g) Representativeness

Glebe Island Bridge has State significance based on its structural and technical features as a swing span bridge. Such bridges were constructed as a more economic solution to bridging across navigable waterways than was a high level bridge.

As such this bridge had an economic impact on the development of Sydney and thus the rest of NSW.
As mentioned earlier it also demonstrates the use of steel components for an Allan Truss and as such is a representative example.

In summary, I am of the belief that the Glebe Island Bridge satisfies the requirements under the criteria stated in the State Heritage Register, to be given a State Heritage Item classification.
I support all that is cotained in the NSW Environment and Heritage Assessment report.

The Glebe Island Bridge can also be a fantastic functioning item once again for the purpose of use by pedestrians, cycles and similar modes of non-fuel driven transport. An heritage item that again joins the CBD direct to Glebe Island, Balmain and beyond.

Gretchen Gamble, Annandale

Save the Glebe Island Bridge and turn it into a pedestrian and Cycle way
Support its state heritage listing by 12 June
Email Heritage@heritage.nsw.gov.au
http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/heritageapp/NominationsOfStateHeritageRegister.aspx