The Swansea Bridge on the Pacific Highway is an important gateway spanning the entrance to Lake Macquarie between Swansea and Blacksmiths. It provides an alternate route along the Pacific Highway between the Central Coast and Newcastle. It is the only access for large boats and yachts between Lake Macquarie and the Pacific Ocean.
Vehicles and boats
Lake Macquarie is the largest permanent 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 the 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, around five to six times per day, allowing up to 4500 boats to pass through. The number of openings is significant when you compare Swansea Bridge to other opening bridges in NSW. The Spit Bridge in Sydney opens eight times each day during the summer, allowing more than 100 boats per day to pass. The Harwood Bridge north of Grafton opens around 200 times a year.
A program of monthly and bi-annual maintenance is in place to keep the bridges operating effectively. A maintenance program of work has also been developed for the coming year to maintain the serviceability and reliability of the bridges.
Roads and Maritime Services will work with the community to provide information as early as possible to reduce the impacts of closures.
Depending on the maintenance work required, Roads and Maritime Services will advise the local community through:
- Letterbox drops.
- Advertising in local papers.
- Media releases.
- Variable message signs on the approaches to the bridge.
- Traffic alerts.
- Marine community alerts through the Swansea coastguard.