Old Public Works (Old PWD) Truss Bridges

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The first timber truss bridges are now known as Old PWD truss bridges.  They were built from 1860-1882.  The design was based on truss designs from England.  The characteristic of these bridges is the use of large, single timbers and the double thickness top chord.  While effective, the large timbers were problematic during maintenance as the replacement of any timber ember required the bridge to be supported from below and was a lot of work.

Statistics
Number built:    147
Number remaining:    2

Driving over videos.

Bridge Name
Date Built
# of Spans
Location
Waterway Name
Status
To be preserved?
Clarence Town
1880
2
Clarence Town
Williams River
Not rebuilt
Yes
Monkerai
1877
3
Monkerai
Karurah River
Original
Yes

Clarence Town Bridge

This bridge is located on Limeburners Road in Clarence Town, about 34km north east of Maitland.  It is a two span bridge and crosses the Williams River.  It was built in 1880. As of early 2014 the bridge is supported by Bailey trusses. This bridge is going to be preserved and is awaiting restoration.  It would be very nice if the bridge was not painted white like most of the restored bridges are.

ClarenceTown1

View of the two spans.

ClarenceTown1

Side view of the truss showing the double thickness top chord.

ClarenceTown3

View of the deck planking.

ClarenceTown4

View of the truss showing the iron piers.

ClarenceTown5

View of the truss showing the single thick timbers for the end and top chords.



Monkerai Bridge

Monkerai Bridge is located on Monkerai Road about 7km west of Bucketts Way and about 95km from Maitland via Dungog and Clarence Town.  It is a three span bridge built in 1877 and crosses the Karuah River. This is the oldest surviving timber truss bridge in NSW. The bridge is currently closed to traffic but is accessible by foot. This bridge is going to be preserved and is awaiting restoration.

Monkerai1

View of the whole bridge.

Monkerari2

View of the truss showing the double top chord and single large timbers.

Monkerai3

View of the deck planking.

Monkerai4

View of the first truss with temporary supports.

Monkerai5

View of the deck and trusses. The temporary supports on the first truss are visible in this view.

Monkerai6

View of the underside of the deck.


Bridge Videos

Driving view of the only remaining Old PWD truss bridge open to traffic.