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Archdale Bridge

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Corner of Archdale Road and Avoca-Bealiba Road, Archdale VIC 3475

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  • Historic timber bridge
This striking old humped timber bridge stands across the Avoca River in Archdale and is the oldest surviving timber bridge in Victoria. Built in 1863, this thirteen-span bridge has an arched timber deck 84 metres long and 5.5 metres wide. The humped timber deck was designed to allow for the flow of flood waters, a design which was once common but with very few surviving examples today.

The Archdale Bridge is no longer in use but remains standing alongside the newer bridge on Archdale Road. 

Significance of the Archdale Bridge

The Victorian Heritage Database provides the following information on the significance of the Archdale Bridge:

Archdale Bridge is technically significant for its humped timber deck, designed to permit the ready flow of flood waters. Humped bridges were not uncommon in an era of horse-drawn vehicles, but were impractical with motorized vehicles; very few survive.

Archdale bridge is one of very few timber river bridges surviving in Victoria to possess large squared-timber pier 'caps', combining with squared and shaped corbels. Those heavy caps, over ten metres long, are cantilevered beyond the outer piles and fixed to the pile tops by mortis-and-tenon construction. They represent very rare examples of early bridge-carpentering traditions.

Archdale Bridge is technically significant for its unusual piers with raker-piles, carefully-worked geometrical bracing, sockets for timber struts, and evidence of hewing by the broad axe. Ageing timber piles show clear evidence of having been shaped to take a strutted-stringer superstructure, of a type only built in Victoria prior to the economic Depression of 1892-3.

Archdale Bridge is aesthetically significant for its unusual arching shape combined with an impressive and historic rough-hewn substructure. It is sited on anattractive rural river floodplain among numerous river red gums.

Other interesting bridges to check out

Some other interesting bridges throughout the Victorian Goldfields include:



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