Monday, April 4, 2011

Australia's Bridges: Meadowbank Bridges across the Parramatta RIver in NSW (2)

March 2011 (-33.822 deg., 151.089 deg.) Meadowbank Bridges

The Meadowbank Pedestrian Bridge (in the foreground) is an old (1886) cast-iron lattice, through-truss bridge on two column bents. It was fabricated in England, shipped to New South Wales, and assembled by John Whitton who was engineer-in-charge of the New South Wales Railway. In 2000 this six span bridge was converted to bike and pedestrian use. 

The need for a stronger railway bridge was recognized prior to WWII. An ornate pier wall was built for a heavy four track truss bridge in 1952 but a recession halted further construction. When the work was resumed in the 1970s, lightweight welded steel box girder bridges had begun to be used, and they ended up building one at this site (but with only two sets of tracks on the east side of the pier walls).  It was named after John Whitton in appreciation for all his work. An interesting website by the Heritage Council describes in more detail the history of the two bridges.

These bridges (one from the 19th and one from the 20th century) remind me of some of the bridge pairs that cross the Thames. Although this stretch of the Parramatta is a little wider, both rivers become quite shallow when the tide goes out and the surrounding area has a vaguely English feel to it.
Creative Commons License
Australia's Bridges: Meadowbank Bridges across the Parramatta River in NSW (2) by Mark Yashinsky is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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