Restoring 135-year-old Melbourne Icon

Melbourne’s iconic Princes Bridge is undergoing a major facelift – with restoration works to protect and enhance its distinctive historic features.

The bridge is one of the city’s busiest and most prominent gateways, linking the CBD with a range of popular cultural, historic, sporting and entertainment attractions.

Restoration works are being carried out in sections, including cleaning, repairing and replacing bluestone blocks and restoring heritage features.

Princes Bridge was built in 1888 to accommodate Melbourne’s booming population following the gold rush period. It replaced a single-span bluestone and granite arch bridge (1850-1884) and the wooden trestle bridge (1844-1852) that came before it.

Over the years, the bridge has evolved with the city – accommodating electric trams after being reinforced in 1924, removing lead-based paint from the ironwork in 2006 and becoming more pedestrian-friendly with the introduction of single lanes in each direction in 2013.

It is one of the oldest river crossings in the CBD and has undergone minimal repairs in its 135-year lifetime – until now.

Detailed restoration work has begun on site and will be completed in stages over the next three years.

The restoration project is one of the first to display artwork around the site as part of Council’s Creative Hoardings project – with a thought-provoking work to be installed, titled Remembering by Yorta Yorta and man, historian, cultural educator and artist John Patten.

Access under and along the bridge will be maintained throughout most of the works. Melburnians and visitors will be notified of any short-term closures and diversions.

/Public Release. View in full here.