Melbourne has two iconic road bridges of significant length across major waterways.
This cantilever-style bridge with two central towers is located west of the Melbourne CBD at Docklands. It spans the Yarra River at the entrance to Victoria Harbour and the mouth of Moonee Ponds Creek.
The Bolte Bridge carries a total of 6 lanes of traffic - 3 lanes northbound and 3 lanes southbound. While officially only 490 metres in length, the actual structure appears much longer as it forms part of a 5 kilometre elevated roadway between Flemington Road and the West Gate Freeway.
Construction of the Bolte Bridge began in 1996 and it was first open to traffic in 1999. The bridge was named after Victoria's longest serving premier, Sir Henry Bolte.
The Bolte Bridge is part of the Western Link section of the CityLink toll road, thus driving along the Bolte Bridge requires the payment of a CityLink toll.
West Gate Bridge
This cable-stayed bridge is located south-west of the Melbourne CBD, linking Port Melbourne with Spotswood. It spans the Yarra River at a point upstream from its mouth in Port Phillip and downstream from the entrance to the Maribyrnong River.
The West Gate Bridge carries a total of 10 lanes of traffic - 5 lanes westbound and 5 lanes eastbound. It is 2,583 metres in length and the fourth longest road bridge in Australia.
Construction of the bridge began in 1968. In 1970, while still under construction, a span from the bridge collapsed and fell, killing a number of workers. Work on the bridge resumed in 1972 and it was finally completed and opened to traffic in 1978.
The West Gate Bridge is part of the West Gate Freeway (M1) and driving along the bridge is free of charge. Tolls were originally collected when it first opened, however toll booths closed in 1985.