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Fremantle Stuff > bridges.

Renovated High Level Bridge, 1909-1939/1947

Fremantle has had five road bridges crossing the Swan River, two of which remain. A new one is now (2020) planned.

North Fremantle Bridge aka High Level Bridge, 1866-1909
Low Level Bridge, 1898-1909

Renovated High Level Bridge, 1909-1939/1947

Fremantle Traffic Bridge, 1939-
Stirling Bridge, 1974-


The Renovated High Level Bridge was a renovation of the original 1866 bridge so extensive that it is considered to be a third bridge. It was opened 18 June 1909 and the Low Level Bridge was closed and then demolished. By the 1930s the RHLB was found to have deteriorated to a point where it was necessary to replace it. It was eventually demolished in 1947.
The photo shows the Renovated High Level Bridge with two traffic lanes and the tramway on the eastern side, and the Low Level Bridge in the process of demolition.

The photo above is of the Renovated Bridge seen from the upstream side, avec tram, c1908. This is #352 from the Fremantle History Collection. Text:

Tram coming over North Fremantle traffic bridge. In 1908 when Fremantle and North Fremantle wished to extend the tramway system to North Fremantle, the old humpbacked bridge (built 1866) was renovated, ie the hump was removed and the bridge widened. Apart from being redecked in 1915, the bridge continued in service until December 1939, when the present bridge was opened. The building at the end of the bridge is the Swan Hotel. This was rebuilt in 1922.

traffic bridge

The present Fremantle Traffic Bridge, opened 15 December 1939. The 1940s photo shows the RHLB still in position on the right. The newer bridge was intended to be used for not more than five years. It is still in use.

Aerial photo from 1947 showing the first rail bridge on the left, the 1939 traffic bridge in the middle, and the remains of the not-yet-demolished RHLB. The red-ringed building is a PWD depot - on what is now Beach Street Reserve, roughly where The Kiosk now stands.

References and Links

Fowler, Audrey 1974, Notes on the oldest traffic bridge in Fremantle, the newsletter of the Fremantle Society, March.

Garry Gillard | New: 27 June, 2020 | Now: 27 June, 2020