Flashback Friday | Photos from the Leader’s archives

The "windies": River Road on the Sutherland side of the Woronora River had vertical rock walls (cut back in this photo) on one side and a big drop on the other.
The "windies": River Road on the Sutherland side of the Woronora River had vertical rock walls (cut back in this photo) on one side and a big drop on the other.

Many motorists will recall the often frustrating and sometimes harrowing experience of driving between Sutherland and the developing Menai area in the 1970s and 1980s.

The winding route over the Woronora River, known by some as the “Wonnie Windies”, was carrying an ever increasing volume of traffic, including many trucks associated with building in the  new housing estates.

The new low-level bridge under construction next to the original one lane bridge.

The new low-level bridge under construction next to the original one lane bridge.

River Road was very narrow, with vertical rock walls on one side and a big drop on the other.

The bridge over Woronora River had only a single lane, so motorists had to patiently wait their turn.

In 1979, Sutherland Shire Council decided to build a new bridge, which was completed in 1981.

The original single-lane bridge at Woronora, where motorists had to wait their turn.

The original single-lane bridge at Woronora, where motorists had to wait their turn.

In following years the steep rock walls on River Road were cut back to widen the approaches, but excavation in the narrow confines was difficult and painfully slow, with long traffic delays at times.

However, the new bridge and road works couldn’t keep pace with the increase in traffic.

By the mid to late 1980s, debate was raging about whether a new, medium or high level bridge should be built.

It took the disastrous bushfires at Menai in December, 1997, for the state Labor government to act, and the present high-level bridge opened in 2001.

FLASHBACK FRIDAY

Every Friday we delve into the Leader archives to embark on some time travel.

We will bring you a photograph of a news event from 57 years of Leader news coverage that you may or may not recall.

Flashback Friday submissions are also welcomed.

Feel free to share your recollections with us on our Facebook page @stgeorgesutherlandleader or email leaderletters@fairfaxmedia.com.au