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Mr Bruce Loder

by Australian Road Research Board on January 14, 2016

ARRB is sad to announce the recent passing of Mr Bruce Loder.  Bruce was the Commissioner of the then Department of Main Roads, NSW, from 1981 to 1986 and President of the Australian Road Federation (the forerunner of Roads Australia) for 10 years from 1988.  Bruce was Commissioner of Main Roads when the ground-breaking Sydney Harbour tunnel contract was drawn up and let, and subsequently became a champion for innovative road funding models, including toll roads and public-private partnerships, to help alleviate Sydney’s congestion problems.  Bruce was also a member of the ARRB Board from 1982 to 1986, including a stint as Chair in 1985. 

Prior to his appointment as Commissioner, Bruce was involved with several NAASRA (now Austroads) Technical Committees, including the Principal Technical Committee.  His commitment to ARRB, and to the funding of innovative road research in Australia, was no more clearly demonstrated when, in 1982, he convinced the NAASRA Board to fund the development and commissioning of the Accelerated Loading Facility (ALF).  ALF made its public debut when it was placed on the forecourt of the Sydney Opera House during the 17th World Roads Congress in October 1983.  The first trial was conducted the following year at Somersby.  Ironically, 14 years after its debut, ALF was used to test the pavement structure that was subsequently adopted in the resurfacing of the forecourt of the Opera House prior to the Olympic Games in 2000.  ALF is still operating today, over 30 years after its development.  It is a lasting legacy to Bruce Loder.

Upon hearing of his passing, Max Lay described him as “….a man of great integrity and intellect and one of the giants of our business.”  Tributes have also been offered by John Metcalf, John McLean and Peter Kadar, all of whom were very closely associated with Bruce during the development and commissioning of the ALF and subsequently.

Photo depicts Bruce Loder (right) receiving his ARF/RA life membership from former President, Ray Fisher, in 1998. Image courtesy of Roads Australia.