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British Industrial History

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Hawthorn Bridge, Victoria (Australia)

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near Melbourne, Victoria

Built in 1861 to carry road traffic over the River Yarra.

It shares with the smaller Hunter River Bridge at Muswellbrook the honour of being the oldest metal truss bridge in Australia. Three simply-supported lattice girder spans (21.3, 45.7 and 21.3m).[1]

Designed by Francis Bell. Construction had started in 1857, the wrought iron structure made by Lloyds, Fosters and Co of Wednesbury, England.[2] The ship carrying the ironwork arrived in 1859, but caught fire and was scuttled. New ironwork was ordered, and the bridge was not completed until November 1861. The original parts were eventually salvaged. The Wikipedia entry provides much information on this and other aspects of the bridge and its history. It may well be that some of the original Hawthorn Bridge ironwork was used to construct the Mia Mia (Redesdale) Bridge.

The bridge has been widened and strengthened, but the original lattice girders are retained.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. 'Spanning Two Centuries - Historic Bridges of Australia' by Colin O'Connor, University of Queensland Press, 1985
  2. [1] Letter from Francis Bell, Contractor for the West Maitland Bridge, 11th December, 1868, in the Sydney Morning Herald, 16 Dec 1868