Chinaman's Bridge

John Sharp

Ocean Grove, Australia

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Artist's Description

Chinamans Bridge is an extensive timber bridge which spans the Goulburn River 2.7 kilometres west of the Goulburn Valley Highway.
It is believed to have been constructed in 1891 and at the time was known as Kerris Bridge. It was designed by the Goulburn Shire Council Engineer and constructed by the contractor JB Parkinson at a cost of £4188 3s 6d.
The bridge included a lift span to enable sawmill and recreation steamers to continue to utilise the Goulburn River. The Nagambie Sawmill steamer passed through the bridge six times a week during the 1890s. Chinamans bridge originally carried the Nagambie-Heathcote Road across the Goulburn River, however the road has now been re-aligned to be carried over the river by a new bridge nearby.
Chinamans Bridge was given its name because the Nagambie-Heathcote Road, once known as Chinamans Road, was in an area populated by Chinese market gardeners up until 1916.
Chinamans Bridge is a timber girder bridge with hand hewn squared timber stringers strutted to the piers and timber corbels and deck. The arrangement of spans supports the view that the bridge at one time incorporated a lift span to provide for the passage of river traffic, however only the timber fenders remain. The drawbridge span was replaced, around 1940, with a steel span.

Olympus E-30, Zuiko 12-60mm SWD, 20mm, f/10, 1/100 sec., ISO 100.

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