Heritage and conservation register

Item

Name of Item Mungindi Bridge over Barwon River at Mungindi
Item Number 4300159
Type of Item Built
Item Sub-Type NSW Dare Truss Bridges
Roadloc  
Address **** Carnarvon Highway Mungindi 2406
Local Government Area Moree Plains 
Owner Local Government
Current Use Road bridge
Former Use Road bridge

 

Statement of significance

Statement of significance The Mungindi bridge is a Dare type timber truss bridge, and was completed in 1914. In 1998 it was in good condition.

As a timber truss road bridge, it has strong associations with the expansion of the road network and economic activity throughout NSW, and Harvey Dare, the designer of this type of truss.

Dare trusses were fifth in the five stage design evolution of NSW timber truss road bridges. They were similar to Allan trusses, but contain improvements which make them stronger and easier to maintain. This engineering enhancement represents a significant evolution of the design of timber truss bridges, and gives Dare trusses some technical significance.

In 1998 there were 27 surviving Dare trusses in NSW of the 40 built, and 82 timber truss road bridges survive from the over 400 built.

The Mungindi bridge is a representative example of Dare timber truss road bridges, and is assessed as being Locally significant, primarily on the basis of its technical and historical significance.

Date Significance Updated 28 January 1999

 

Description

Designer Harvey Dare
Builder Lawson & Wladro
Construction years **** - 1914
Physical description Border Bridge is a Dare type timber truss road bridge. It has a single timber truss span of 27.7m (91ft). There are 2 timber approach spans at each end giving the bridge an overall length of 61.6m (202ft).

The superstructure is supported by timber trestles and provides a carriage way with a minimum width of 5.5m and a footpath. An Armco type guard rail extends the full length of the bridge.

Physical Condition
and/or
Archaeological Potential
Original condition assessment: 'Good' (Last updated: 8/02/1999.) 2007-08 condition update: 'Poor .' (Last updated: 17/4/09.)
Modifications and dates Footway added to upstream side
Date condition updated 17 April 2009

 

History

Historical notes The Mungindi bridge is a Dare type timber truss bridge, and was completed in 1914.

Timber truss road bridges have played a significant role in the expansion and improvement of the NSW road network. Prior to the bridges being built, river crossings were often dangerous in times of rain, which caused bulk freight movement to be prohibitively expensive for most agricultural and mining produce. Only the high priced wool clip of the time was able to carry the costs and inconvenience imposed by the generally inadequate river crossings that often existed prior to the trusses construction.

Timber truss bridges were preferred by the Public Works Department from the mid 19th to the early 20th century because they were relatively cheap to construct, and used mostly local materials. The financially troubled governments of the day applied pressure to the Public Works Department to produce as much road and bridge work for as little cost as possible, using local materials. This condition effectively prohibited the use of iron and steel, as these, prior to the construction of the steel works at Newcastle in the early 20th century, had to be imported from England.

Harvey Dare, the designer of Dare truss and other bridges, was a leading engineer in the Public Works Department, and a prominent figure in early 20th century NSW.

Timber truss bridges, and timber bridges generally were so common that NSW was known to travellers as the "timber bridge state".

 

Listings

Heritage Listing Reference Number Gazette Number Gazette Page
Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage register       

 

Assessment of Significance

Historical Significance Through the bridge's association with the expansion of the NSW road network, its ability to demonstrate historically important concepts such as the gradual acceptance of NSW people of American design ideas, and its association with Harvey Dare, it has historical significance.
Historical Association ****
Aesthetic/Technical Significance The bridge exhibits the technical excellence of its design, as all of the structural detail is clearly visible. In the context of its landscape it is visually attractive. As such, the bridge has a small amount of aesthetic significance.
Social Significance Timber truss bridges are prominent to road travellers, and NSW has in the past been referred to as the "timber truss bridge state". Through this, the complete set of bridges gain some social significance, as they could be said to be held in reasonable esteem by many travellers in NSW.
Research Significance The bridge has technical significance because it is a Dare truss, is representative of some major technical developments that were made in timber truss design by the Public Works Department.
Rarity Rare - In 1998 there were 27 surviving Dare trusses in NSW of the 40 built, and 82 timber truss road bridges survive from the over 400 built.
Representativenes Representative of Dare truss bridges
Integrity/Intactness Intact, but has a recent footway on one side which impacts the aesthetic significance.
Assessed Significance Local

 

References

 

Type Author Year Title
Written  Department of Main Roads, NSW  1987  Timber Truss Bridge Maintenance Handbook 
Written  Fraser, D J  1985  Timber Bridges of New South Wales 

 

Study details

Title Year Author Inspected by Guidelines used
Relative Heritage Significance of all Timber Truss Bridges in NSW  1998  McMillan Britton & Kell    Yes 

 

Custom fields

Roads and Maritime Services Region Western
Bridge Number 3088
CARMS File Number General File: 291.130 Parkes Regional Bridge Maintenance File No: 28/291.3088 Dubbo District Office Bridge File: B3088
Property Number Bridge
Conservation Management Plan ****

 

Images

View of the bridge deck showing the carriage way  and footpath.
View of the bridge deck showing the carriage way and footpath.

Oblique view of the bridge
Oblique view of the bridge