The Old Lifting Span Bridge

JulieMahony

BOURKE, Australia

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Artist's Description

The steel sections of this bridge, commonly known as ‘The Old North Bourke Bridge’, was built in England and shipped out to Adelaide in South Aust. It was then brought upriver to Bourke on a paddleboat and was erected and opened in May, 1883. It was the first lifting span bridge of its kind to be built on the Murray/Darling River system. The middle section with it tall structure overhead, was wound up by hand. It took 4 men, 2 on each set of winding gears, to raise and lower the middle section whenever the river was high and paddleboats needed to pass under it. The last time it is assumed to have worked was in 1931 just after a flood. At that time, the paddleboats had gone into decline as the railway became the main mode of transport for passengers and frieght. It became redundant as a vehicular bridge in September 1997 when a new bridge was open beside it. It was in use for 114 years and has now been heitage listed.

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bridges lifting old river span

Artwork Comments

  • Chris Clark
  • pat oubridge
  • JulieMahony
  • RichiesArt
  • Michelle Boyer
  • Ozcloggie
  • JulieMahony
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desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

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