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Gee Gee Bridge
Coordinates 35°19′47″S 143°55′40″E / 35.3298°S 143.9278°E / -35.3298; 143.9278Coordinates: 35°19′47″S 143°55′40″E / 35.3298°S 143.9278°E / -35.3298; 143.9278
Carries Noorong Road
Crosses Wakool River
Locale Cunninyeuk to Wetuppa, Murray River Council, New South Wales, Australia
Owner Murray River Council
Characteristics
Design Dare-type Allan truss
Material Timber
Pier construction Timber
Total length 72.5 metres (238 ft)
Width 5.5 metres (18 ft)
Longest span 27.7 metres (91 ft)
Number of spans 1
History
Engineering design by Harvey Dare
Construction end 1929 (1929)
Official name: Gee Gee Bridge over Wakool River (Revoked)
Type State heritage (built)
Designated 20 June 2000
Delisted 2 March 2018
Reference no. 1469
Type Road Bridge
Category Transport - Land

The Gee Gee Bridge is a heritage-listed road bridge that carries Noorong Road across the Wakool River, connecting Cunninyeuk to Wetuppa, both in the Murray River Council local government area of New South Wales, Australia. The bridge was designed by Harvey Dare and built in 1929. The bridge is owned by the Murray River Council and was added to the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 20 June 2000 and removed from the register on 2 March 2018.

The 1929 bridge is being replaced under the NSW Roads and Maritime Services Timber Truss Bridge Strategy. The old bridge will be demolished as part of the replacement. Work commenced in September 2018 with a targeted completion date of mid-2020.

History

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".

Description

Gee Gee Bridge is a Dare-type timber Allan truss road bridge. It has a single timber truss span of 27.7 metres (91 ft). There are three timber approach spans at one end and two at the other giving the bridge an overall length of 72.5 metres (238 ft).

The super structure is supported by timber trestles and provides a dual-lane carriage way with a minimum width of 5.5 metres (18 ft). A timber post and rail guard rail extends the full length of the bridge.

In the 1990s strengthening of the timber trestles took place.

Condition

As at 3 June 2005, the condition of the bridge was good. Intact, but timber piers have been strengthened by additional piles. As at the time of removed from the Heritage Register the bridge was described as being in poor condition with "no identifiable prospects for transfer, relocation, adaptive reuse or retention as an orphan structure."

Modifications and dates

In the 1990s there was strengthening of the timber trestles.

Heritage listing

The Gee Gee bridge is a Dare-type timber truss bridge, and was completed in 1929. In 1998 it was in good condition. As a timber truss road bridge, it has many associational links with important historical events, trends, and people, including 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 Gee Gee Bridge is a representative example of Dare timber truss road bridges, and is assessed as being State significant, primarily on the basis of its technical and historical significance.

The Gee Gee Bridge over Wakool River was listed on the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 20 June 2000 having satisfied the following criteria.

The place has a strong or special association with a person, or group of persons, of importance of cultural or natural history of New South Wales's history.

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.

The place is important in demonstrating aesthetic characteristics and/or a high degree of creative or technical achievement in New South Wales.

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.

The place has a strong or special association with a particular community or cultural group in New South Wales for social, cultural or spiritual reasons.

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.

The place has potential to yield information that will contribute to an understanding of the cultural or natural history of New South Wales.

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 place possesses uncommon, rare or endangered aspects of the cultural or natural history of New South Wales.

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.

The place is important in demonstrating the principal characteristics of a class of cultural or natural places/environments in New South Wales.

Representative of Dare truss bridges.

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