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West Gate Bridge Memorial Park

The West Gate Bridge Memorial Park in Spotswood remains a poignant reminder of the tragedy that took the life of 35 people at 11.50 am on 15 October 1970. The West Gate Bridge Memorial Park Association formed soon after, wanted to honour the memories of those who lost their lives in the collapse of West Gate Bridge and the Spotswood Yarra Sewer Tunnel Collapse of 1895 which claimed 6 lives. The memorial also serves as a reminder to increase the awareness of workplace accidents to promote safer work environments.

On 15th October 1978, a memorial plaque was unveiled, erected by the fellow workers of the victims with the names of all the 35 people perished after a portion of the Bridge collapsed during its construction.

The Plaque reads ‘Construction workers employed on West Gate Bridge erected and dedicated this memorial to their 35 workmates who were killed when a span of the bridge collapsed during construction at 11.50 am on 15th October 1970.’

Our comrades who lost their lives were:


Royvin Barbuto – Boilermaker

Ross Bigmore – Carpenter

Amadeo Boscolo – Carpenter

Bernard Butters – Boilermaker

Cyril Carmichael – Ironworker

Peter Crossley – Engineer

Peter Dawson – Rigger

Abraham Eden – Rigger

Anthony Falzon – Carpenter

Esequiel Fernandez – Ironworker

Bernard Fitzsimmonds – Ironworker

Victor Gerada – Ironworker

John Grist – Boilermaker

William Harburn – Boilermaker

Jack Hindshaw – Engineer

Trevor Hunsdale – Fitter

John Little – Rigger

Charles Lund – Rigger

Peter McGuire – Rigger

Ian Miller – Engineer

Jeremiah Murphy – Rigger

Dennis O’Brien – Rigger

Joseph Ozelis – First Aid

Frank Piermarini – Rigger

George Pram – Rigger

Lesley Scarlett – Ironworker

Christopher Stewart – Boilermaker

Alfonso Suarez – Boilermaker

William Tracy – Engineer

George Tsihilidis – Boilermaker

Edgar Upsdell – Ironworker

Robert West – Boilermaker

Robert Whelan – Boilermaker

Patrick Woods – Rigger

Barry Wright – Boilermaker

In memory of workers of all lands who are killed in industrial accidents.”

The West Gate Bridge Memorial park was opened on 15th October 2004, the 34th anniversary of the disaster, located at the actual site of the Bridge’s collapse.

In 2011 a plaque erected in honour of Joe Owens. The memorial park is maintained by Parks Victoria.


Address: Douglas Pde, Spotswood 3015

The cause of Bridge’s Collapse

The Royal Commission into the collapse gave its report on 14th July 1971. It blamed the collapse on fault in structural design by designers Freeman Fox & Partners and an unusual method of construction by World Services and Construction, the original contractors of the project.

There was a difference in camber of 11.4 cm between two half-girders at the west end of the span which needed to be joined. A decision was taken to use kentledge to weigh down and realign girders. The weight of these blocks buckled the spans.

The longitudinal joining of the half girders were partially complete when orders came through to remove the buckle. As the bolts were removed, the bridge snapped back and the span collapsed.

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      The West Gate Bridge Memorial Park in Spotswood remains a poignant reminder of the tragedy that took the life of 35 people at 11.50 am on 15 October 1
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