The St.Albans Bridge.
The Famous St. Albans River crossing.
At the bottom of Wharf Road that still leads down to the original point
of Bullock Wharf, is a substantial bridge This Bridge that now spans the
Macdonald River at St Albans is still in use and was opened in 1901, it
is classified by the National Trust.
The bridge is of steel-framed construction with a wooden deck suitable for a single lane of traffic and is some 20 meters from the riverbed to clear any large floods. It is one of only two of this type of construction remaining in New South Wales.
The bridge that it replaced was apparently a suspension type bridge that "hung like a fairy thread", and was slightly upstream from where the current bridge now stands. The details of the earlier bridge are not available, even if records were kept. It had been severely damaged in the l889 flood, that was probably the highest on record at St Albans; when many buildings were washed away and the water rose to the upper floor of the Settlers Arms Inn.
The current bridge underwent substantial refurbishment in 1998 that
involved the removal and replacement of the old original timber decking.
This was beautiful old timber and was hastily taken by many local residents
for use in recycling into furniture and the like.
The height of the structure offers splendid views up and down the valley and many a family has taken advantage of the shade it provides on hot summer days down by the river.
The road through the Macdonald valley and over our bridge was still
the most popular route north until the 1930s when a new bridge replaced
Peats Ferry over the Hawkesbury near Brooklyn. A road had been constructed
roughly along the route of the present Pacific Highway in the l870s, crossing
at Peats Ferry, but this did not prove particularly popular and early this
century was practically impassable. In 1888 the Railway Bridge was completed
across the Hawkesbury at Brooklyn, reducing the traffic through the valley.
During the Great Depression in the 1930s the bridge was built to replace Peats Ferry, and this became the main road north, and virtually eliminated traffic through the Macdonald valley. The Sydney-Newcastle Motorway north, in turn, replaced this bridge and that is as it is today.
A view from the St.Albans Bridge looking south down the Valley.
Other Famous Bridges not as worthy as ours
The Aussie Coathanger
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