Recalling Before and After – The West Gate Bridge

West Gate Bridge from Williamstown Road/Webb Dock area, a day or so before the collapse.

West Gate Bridge from Williamstown Road/Webb Dock area, a day or so before the collapse.

Looking from the Williamstown Road/Webb dock area towards the West Gate Bridge, just a day or so before the bridge collapsed. Contrast the sky in this photo to the blue of the later photo – such a grim threatening portent over the unhappy bridge.

West Gate Bridge nearing completion.

West Gate Bridge nearing completion.

The West Gate Bridge, on the day the final piece of the deck of the bridge was pulled up in position. I waited and waited to photograph this pleasing revival, bringing the project back to life. Look at the sky. I included this photo as I felt that even the elements were at last harmonious and satisfied.

Bernie McPhee


The West Gate Bridge Disaster

At 11.50 am on 15 October 1970, a 120 metre span of the West Gate Bridge collapsed during construction, killing 35 workers.

They are remembered with a plaque beneath the bridge on the Spotswood side of the Yarra, paid for and erected by their fellow workers. The memorial plaque was unveiled on 15 October 1978. A memorial park was opened on 15 October 2004.

Saturday marks the 46th anniversary of the West Gate Bridge tragedy.

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