de Burgh Truss Bridges

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The fourth type of timber truss bridges are the de Burgh truss bridges.  This was the first of the composite trusses - those that use a mix of steel and timber for parts of the bridge other than the tension rods. Ernest de Burgh joined the NSW Public Works Department in 1895 and introduced his new truss design in 1899.  It made full use of the advantages of timber and steel in which timber is better suited to compression while steel is better suited to tension.  de Burgh's design is based on the Pratt truss of USA which differs from the Howe based truss designs by having the vertical members in compression and the diagonal members in tension.  The most visible difference is the square appearance without the sloped ends. de Burgh trusses have a steel bottom chord composed of two parallel plates with pins used to join the diagonal steel rods.  While the design was an improvement on the Allan truss, it had its own significant disadvantages.  The pins were difficult to maintain or replace.  The design was in use for only about 5 years before being replaced with the Dare truss.

Statistics
Number built:    20
Number remaining:    8
Number to be preserved:    3

Bridge Name
Date Built
# of Spans
Location
Waterway Name
Status
To be preserved?
Barham
1905
2 + lift
Barham
Murray River
Not rebuilt
No
Beckers
1902
1
Gresford Road
Webbers Creek
Not rebuilt
No
Cobram
1902
2 + lift
Cobram
Murray River
Preserved
Yes, as footbridge
Crookwell
1903
1
North of Crookwell
Crookwell River
Demolished 2015
No
Gillies
1904
1
Rothbury
Black Creek
Not rebuilt
Not sure - this is a council bridge
Holman
1904
1
Gooloongong
Lachlan River
Demolished 2016
No
Landsdowne
1902
1
Goulburn
Mulwaree River
Not rebuilt
No
Middle Fallbrook
1904
2
Middle Fallbrook
Fal Brook
Not rebuilt
Yes
St Albans
1903
2
St Albans
Macdonald River
Rebuilt
Yes
Tabulam
1903
5
Tabulam
Clarence River
Not rebuilt
No

Barham Bridge

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This bridge crosses the Murray River at Barham, which is situated halfway between Echuca and Swan Hill. It is a two span bridge with a central lift span.  Built in 1905, the bridge is currently undergoing major refurbishment.  This bridge is going to be preserved.

Barham1

View of the bridge from the upstream north side.

Barham2

View from downstream north side

Barham3

View of the deck. This bridge still has the original style deck planking.

Barham4

View of the entire bridge. The north abutment is being replaced.

Barham5

Details of the de Burgh truss bottom chord. Steel plates with cross bracing and steel pins where the tension rods join.

Barham6

View of the south truss.

Barham7

View of the deck showing the footpath, which does not extend over the lift span.

Barham8

View of the lift span. It is still operational.

Barham9

View from the south side with load limit signs.



Beckers Bridge

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Beckers Bridge is a single span truss built in 1902. It is located on Glendenbrook Road over Webbers Creek about 15km east of Singleton.  It has had some work done on it, but is still mostly original. It is located in a peaceful, beautiful valley.

  Beckers1

View of the bridge from the south side.

Beckers2

View from north end

Beckers3

View from the north side.

Beckers4

Close view of the truss.

Beckers5

Detail of the de Burgh truss. The timber uprights are in compression and the diagonals are in tension, the opposite if the Allan truss.

Beckers6

View from the north side.



Cobram Bridge

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Cobram Bridge was built in 1902 over the Murray River.  It is located at the town of Cobram. It is a two span truss with a lift span. The bridge was duplicated in 2009 and the original bridge retained as a footbridge. The lift span is no longer operational.  Most of the approach spans on the NSW side have been removed and a set of stairs installed at the end of the bridge.

Cobram1

View of the bridge from the south side.

Cobram2

View from south end

Cobram3

The crank wheel for raising the lift span.

Cobram4

View of the lift span.

Cobram5

View underneath the truss span showing the steel cross girders and steel plate bottom chords.

Cobram6

View of the lift span balancing weights.

Cobram7

View looking toward the north.

Cobram8

The new bridge gives good vantage points to photograph the old bridge..

Cobram9

View of the de Burgh truss.

Cobram10

View from the north side from the new bridge.

Cobram11

View of the north end of the bridge with the stairs.

Cobram12

View of both bridges from the south side.

Cobram13

View from the north side.

Cobram14

Detail of the de Burgh truss bottom chord. The steel plates are braced together at each end of the truss span.



Crookwell River Bridge

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This bridge is a single span truss over the Crookwell River built in 1903. It is unique in that it has no approach spans on either side of the bridge.  As of February 2014, it is undergoing replacement.  The old bridge will not be preserved. The bridge is located on Binda Road, about 10km north west of Crookwell.
Update August 2016:  This bridge was demolished in early 2015.

Crookwell1

View of the bridge from the north side.

Crookwell2

View from the south end.

Crookwell3

Closer view from the north side.

Crookwell4

Close view from the north end.

Crookwell5

Detail of the de Burgh truss. Note how only four of the cross beams have sway bars.

Crookwell6

Detail of the riveted steel plates that make up the bottom chord.This view also shows the pin that carries the tension rods.

Crookwell7

View of the underside.

Crookwell8

Distant view showing the construction of the new bridge.

Crookwell9

View of the deck.



Gillies Bridge

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This bridge is located on Wilderness Road, about 10km north of Cessnock. It crosses Black Creek. This is a council owned bridge and is the only de Burgh truss with low profile trusses - they are not even double the height of the railing. This bridge was built in 1904 and is completely original.

Gillies1

View of the bridge from the west side.

Gillies2

View of the deck

Gillies3

View from the east side.

Gillies4

Close view of the truss.

Gillies5

View of the underside.

Gillies6

Detail of the end tension rods.

Gillies7

View of the truss showing the splice plates.

Gillies8

View from the east side.



Holman Bridge

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Holman Bridge is a single span bridge over the Lachlan River and was built in 1904. it is currently undergoing replacement as of February 2014. Due to this, I could not get any good side views. The bridge is located on Nanima Road just north of Gooloongong.
Update August 2016:  This bridge was demolished in June 2016.

Holman1

View of the bridge from the north side.

Holman2

View of the deck and trusses.

Holman3

View of the bridge and construction from the north side.

Holman4

View from the north end.

Holman5

Closer view of the bridge. Note the many steel reinforcements made to the approaches.

Holman6

View from the north side.



Landsdowne Bridge

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Landsdowne Bridge is located on Bungonia Road, Goulburn and was built in 1902. It crosses the Mulwaree River.  This bridge is not going to be preserved.

Landsdowne1

View of the bridge from the east side.

Landsdowne2

View of the deck and trusses from the east end.

Landsdowne3

View from truss and approaches from the east side.

Landsdowne4

Close view of the truss.

Landsdowne5

View of the truss from the west side.

Landsdowne6

Several supports have been braced.

Landsdowne7

View from the west side.

Landsdowne8

View from the east end.



Middle Fallbrook Bridge

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This bridge was built in 1904 over Fall Brook and is a two span truss.  It has concrete pipe piers, a unique feature. The bridge is currently supported with Bailey trusses and is going to be preserved. It is located on Middle Fallbrook Road about 12km north of Singleton.

MiddleFallbrook1

View of the bridge from the south side.

MiddleFallbrook2

View from south end

MiddleFallbrook3

View from the north side.

MiddleFallbrook4

Close view of the truss from the south side.

MiddleFallbrook5

View of the south end.

MiddleFallbrook6

View of the deck and Bailey trusses.



St Albans Bridge

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St Albans Bridge was built in 1903 over the Macdonald River at St Albans. It is unique in that it has the longest trusses of any of the timber truss bridges. It is also unique in that the tension rods are mounted outside the steel plates of the bottom chord.  Also, the timber vertical members are composed of four timber beams, rather than the usual two. This bridge will be preserved and has been upgraded and restored.

StAlbans1

View of the bridge from the east side.

StAlbans2

View from east end

StAlbans3

Detail of the end of the bottom chord showing the triple tension rods with the outside two mounted outside the plates of the bottom chord.

StAlbans4

View of the bridge from the east side.

StAlbans5

Close view of the truss span.

StAlbans6

View of the deck and cross beams from the east side.



Tabulam Bridge

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Tabulam Bridge is a five span truss bridge built in 1903. It is the longest timber truss bridge remaining in NSW.  Only about 6 other bridges were ever built to this length or longer.  It is located on Bruxner Highway at Tabulam, about 50km west of Casino.  This bridge is unfortunately not going to be preserved.  It has been partially upgraded.

Tabulam1

View of the bridge from the east side.

Tabulam2

View from east end

Tabulam3

View from the east side.

Tabulam4

View of the bridge from the east side.

Tabulam5

View of the deck and trusses.

Tabulam6

View from the middle of the bridge.

Tabulam7

Detail of the bottom chord and steel cross beams.

Tabulam8

View from the west side.

Tabulam9

Distant view from the west side.

Tabulam10

View from the west side truss.

Tabulam11

View of all the trusses from the west side.

Tabulam12

Side view of one of the trusses.