Heritage and conservation register
|Name of Item||Rawsonville Bridge over Macquarie River|
|Type of Item||Built|
|Item Sub-Type||NSW Dare Truss Bridges|
|Address||**** **** Minore 2830|
|Local Government Area||Dubbo City|
|Current Use||Road bridge|
|Former Use||Road bridge|
Statement of significance
|Statement of significance||The Rawsonville bridge is a Dare type timber truss bridge, and was completed in 1916. 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.
The Rawsonville bridge has concrete piers, which gives it the ability to demonstrate the shift in preference to concrete for bridge construction that was taking place in the early 20th century.
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 Rawsonville bridge is a representative example of Dare timber truss road bridges, and is assessed as being Regionally significant, primarily on the basis of its technical and historical significance.
|Date Significance Updated||08 February 1999|
|Builder||Pike & Co, J H Sheden, H Buckmaster|
|Construction years||**** - 1916|
|Physical description||Rawsonville Bridge is a Dare type timber truss road bridge. It has 2 timber truss spans, each of 28.0m (92ft). There are 3 timber approach spans at each end giving the bridge an overall length of 111.9m (367ft).
The main spans of the super structure are supported by concrete piers. The approach spans are supported by timber trestles. The bridge provides a carriage way with a minimum width of 4.6m. A timber post and rail guard rail extends the full length of the bridge.
|Original condition assessment: 'Good' (Last updated: 3/02/1999.) 2007-08 condition update: 'Fair.' (Last updated: 17/4/09.)|
|Modifications and dates||****|
|Date condition updated||17 April 2009|
|Historical notes||The Rawsonville bridge is a Dare type timber truss bridge, and was completed in 1916.
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".
|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.|
|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||The Rawsonville bridge is highly valued by the people of the Dubbo district. 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. The Rawsonville bridge has concrete piers, which gives it the ability to demonstrate the shift in preference to concrete for bridge construction that was taking place in the early 20th century.|
|Rarity||Rare and early example of concrete piers|
|Representativeness||Representative of Dare timber truss bridges|
|Written||Department of Main Roads, NSW||1987||Timber Truss Bridge Maintenance Handbook|
|Written||Fraser, D J||1985||Timber Bridges of New South Wales|
|Title||Year||Author||Inspected by||Guidelines used|
|Relative Heritage Significance of all Timber Truss Bridges in NSW||1998||McMillan Britton & Kell||Yes|
|Roads and Maritime Services Region||Western|
|CARMS File Number||General File: 125.61 Parkes Regional Bridge Maintenance File No: 125.4645 Dubbo District Office Bridge File: B4645|
|Conservation Management Plan||In preparation - Hughes Trueman Reinhold - CMP expected March 2000 - contact Dave Manchanayake, Western Region|