Monday, 7 August 2017

1962: Tom Ugly's Bridge as a double deck bridge?

In 1962, there was only one crossing over Georges River to link the Sutherland Shire with the rest of Sydney - Tom Ugly's Bridge. The bridge could only carry three lanes of traffic. The postwar years saw a boom in the population and congestion on the bridge approaches was becoming an ever increasing problem.

tom Uglys Bridge Vision February 6 1962 the leader 1

Source: Anonymous. 1962. "Engineer proposes an answer to the chaos". The St George and Sutherland Shire Leader, February 8, 1. 

One engineer - James Stewart had a plan that would allow for an additional three lanes built atop the existing lanes of the bridge. It was an efficient proposal, but the challenge would have been with the approaches to the bridge. This may have had implications on both sides of the bridge as we see it today. 

Cars Could drive over Tom Uglys February 8 1962 the leader 3

Source: Anonymous. 1962. "Cars could drive over the top of Tom Ugly's". The St George and Sutherland Shire Leader, February 8, 3. 

It was not until 1987, that a second bridge was built roughly parallel to the existing bridge - Georges River Bridge which would carry southbound traffic on the Princes Highway, allowing tom Ugly's Bridge to carry northbound traffic only. 

Also he suggested a rail line travelling from Caringbah to Rockdale to relieve congestion on the single deck Como Bridge with the tracks incorporated into the soon to be built Captain Cook Bridge. He felt that while tenders had closed, the design could be modified. The line would have followed the corridor for the F6 (Southern) Freeway, and rejoined the main Illawarra line at Rockdale. This would have led to signficant reductions in commute times on the Cronulla branch line and provided South Coast services a second route through Southern Sydney.