Melbourne’s Westgate Bridge joins Geelong and Western Melbourne to Melbourne over the Yarra River. The construction of the Westgate bridge began in 1968 and was completed in 1978 at a cost of $202 million. The Westgate Bridge is a cable-stayed steel box girder bridge and is 2582.6m in length and is the 2nd longest bridge in Australia.
The bridge was a welcome relief to motorists who had patiently waited nearly ten years for its completion but it did come at a price. On October the 15th, 1970, the bridge collapsed during construction, killing 35 workers. The disaster was blamed on both construction and communication errors. At the time of the incident, two sections of the bridge were being connected. Unfortunately, the sections were out of alignment and as result bolts were loosened to try and match the spans. This set off a chain of events that resulted in the sudden collapse of the structure. The span which collapsed weighed 2000 tonnes. At the time of collapse nearly every other steel box girder bridge in the world had construction issues.