by Virginia Simpson-Young, April 2021, Bulletin 2 of 2021

Glebe Island Bridge Control Cabin Fire Damage. Photo taken in 1983 (State of New South Wales [Transport for NSW] 2016)

According to NSW Transport’s archives (, a fire irreparably damaged the control cabin of the Glebe Island Bridge, necessitating its complete rebuild and technology upgrade:

On Friday, 26 November 1982, the control cabin on Glebe Island Bridge was destroyed by a fire. The electrical equipment, which operated the opening span, was damaged beyond repair and temporary arrangements were made to allow the movement of shipping from Blackwattle and Rozelle Bays.

The new cabin was constructed at the Department of Main Roads Central Workshop. In order to retain its historic character, the design of the original structure was adhered to as closely as possible.

The completed cabin, which was installed on 19 December 1982, was designed with original features. The main innovation was a modern split system air conditioner which was added for operator comfort. Modern electrical control equipment was designed for the bridge opening mechanism. Small crane type joy sticks replaced the old tram type controls for the traffic gates, lowering of the end bearings and slewing.

New Glebe Island Bridge Control Panel. Photo taken in 1983 (photo: State of New South Wales [Transport for NSW] 2016)