Part 1 - Living on the Edge
This oral history project discusses the background and significance of Lawrence Hargrave Drive to the local community and records the history, lives, aspirations and occasional frustrations of some of the local people who rely so heavily on this road for access.
Living on the Edge was based on 23 hours of digitally recorded interviews with 22 participants, including local residents, former Department of Main Roads staff, former and current Transport for NSW (TfNSW), and Roads and Traffic Authority staff, geologists, and the Alliance champion.
Living on the Edge (Part 1) - Individual sound files - MP3
1. Introduction / beauty of area (2:32) (MP3, 300.59 KB)
2. European history / coal discoveries / Lawrence Hargrave (4:59) (MP3, 606.83 KB)
3. Construction of road / magnitude of site / early Clifton (4:41) (MP3, 566.09 KB)
4. Miners and their families - how they lived (4:37) (MP3, 569.78 KB)
5. Desperate times / the Depression / children’s lives (4:51) (MP3, 590.1 KB)
6. The war years / Gloria’s house / rock falls (4:49) (MP3, 853.17 KB)
7. Life in the mines (5:22) (MP3, 948.83 KB)
8. Health of miners / the death of Billy Band / mining accidents (4:46) (MP3, 844.74 KB)
9. The storm of 1950 (3:49) (MP3, 678.83 KB)
10. The Waterhouse Report / rock fall incidents (4:31) (MP3, 562.39 KB)
11. The Royal Tour / Bert Cheetham / evening road repairs (4:02) (MP3, 492.15 KB)
12. Road slippages / Bobby Poole / the wrecking ball experiment (5:52) (MP3, 731.18 KB)
13. Aboriginal history and legends / Allan Carriage’s childhood (5:04) (MP3, 628.63 KB)
14. The 1987 rock fall and 1988 storms (4:23) (MP3, 534.48 KB)
15. Coledale rail disaster / remediation work in 1988 (2:54) (MP3, 349.35 KB)
16. Modelling rock falls / improvement options / construction of ditch, berm and fence (2:47) (MP3, 352.05 KB)
17. Slope Risk Assessment Study / rock fall incidents / safety measures (4:01) (MP3, 510.19 KB)
18. Rainfall protocol introduced / community activism / indefinite closure (5:17) (MP3, 656.54 KB)
19. The Alliance Project (3:12) (MP3, 401.31 KB)
20. The preferred design option / environmental impact / conclusions (7:06) (MP3, 869.94 KB)
Part 2 - Building Bridges
This oral history follows on from Living on the Edge, which examined the history of the local area and the circumstances leading up to the closure of Lawrence Hargrave Drive in August 2003.
Building Bridges is based on 15 hours of digitally recorded interviews with those involved in the planning, design, construction and naming of Sea Cliff Bridge.
It includes the official speeches made at the opening ceremony on Sunday 11 December 2005 and comments from a number of local residents and school children walking the bridge for the first time.
The opinions expressed in the oral history interviews are those of the individuals concerned and do not necessarily represent in whole or in part the position of TfNSW.
The sound files in the table below contain excerpts from the original interviews and summarise the key themes uncovered during the course of the oral history project.
Building Bridges (Part 2) - Individual sound files - MP3
Living on the Edge - Lawrence Hargrave Drive complete (MP3, 19.21 MB)
CD2 whole as one file (MP3, 8.42 MB)
1. Introduction / Alliance partners / scoping study (4:51) (MP3, 604.47 KB)
2. The REF / designing the bridges (4:10) (MP3, 509.76 KB)
3. Bridge alignment / design reviews (5:52) (MP3, 739.93 KB)
4. Access roads / sea swells / weather / rock falls / work crews (4:24) (MP3, 537.54 KB)
5. Piling and pier formation (3:57) (MP3, 487.47 KB)
6. Unexpected piling problems (2:28) (MP3, 308.99 KB)
7. Upcoming events in construction (6:35) (MP3, 852.85 KB)
8. Construction of the balanced cantilever bridge / travellers (4:51) (MP3, 598.74 KB)
9. Concrete quality / cathodic prevention / building the deck (5:17) (MP3, 674.43 KB)
10. Pre-stressing / safety on site / community relations (4:43) (MP3, 588.2 KB)
11. Nearing completion (2:18) (MP3, 287.05 KB)
12. Final concrete pour / planning for celebrations (2:50) (MP3, 341.89 KB)
13. Opening day (5:30) (MP3, 678.97 KB)
14. Comments by the community (6:53) (MP3, 800.93 KB)
15. A new gateway to the Illawarra / nostalgia for the old road (3:36) (MP3, 434.63 KB)
16. A landmark engineering project (1:28) (MP3, 179.89 KB)
Lawrence Hargrave Drive summary report (Part 1) (PDF, 17.64 MB)
Lawrence Hargrave Drive summary report (Part 2) (PDF, 35.16 MB)