Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Old Timber Bridges

It isn't strictly railway related, but who doesn't love old bridges (and I'm not talking about Lloyd or Jeff)?

Christmas time generally sees the usual visits to relations places for various gatherings where you catch up with people you tend to only see once a year, sometimes by choice!

One of these gatherings takes my family to the very old town of Morpeth in the Hunter district of NSW. This area is widely known for the vast amounts of rail coal traffic emanating from the surrounding areas if you are into trains, and also famous for its wine districts if you like the odd sip.

Morpeth no longer has its rail line, but it has a wonderful old road bridge which spans the Hunter River that is some 280 metres long and was built in 1898 or there abouts. Morpeth bridge is the oldest remaining example of an Overhead Braced Allan Truss Road Bridge in service, and one of only three left in NSW apparently. The bridge has been undergoing some well needed maintenance work for a while, and the deck timbers are all currently being replaced.

I drove over this bridge a couple of years ago and to say she was a little creaky was an understatement. I'm amazed to hear long time locals calling for it to be pulled down and replaced, seeing as how Morpeth is one of the areas strictest heritage sites.

In any case, I thought I'd throw up a few of the pics I took as the late afternoon sun was setting. I wish I'd had a better camera with me, but the old iPhone does ok when these photo opportunities present themselves unexpectedly.

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