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Title: The evolution of large-truss road bridges in NSW, Australia
Contributor(s): Glencross-Grant, Rex  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2012
DOI: 10.1680/ehah.11.00010
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Abstract: This paper describes the evolution of large-truss road bridges in New South Wales (NSW), Australia, citing specific examples of various genres. In particular, the high proportion of iron bridges constructed in northern NSW over approximately a 25-year period from around 1870 is highlighted. The proportion here was greater than the rest of NSW for the same period. Various postulates are canvassed as to why that might have been so. With the onset of periods of financial astringency, the engineering profession had to adapt and make changes to take account of worsening economic conditions and political imperatives of the times. Typical of such major changes at the time was a dramatic swing from substantive iron road bridges to much more slender, but astutely designed, timber truss bridges. These colonially designed, but US-influenced, 'lean and mean' timber bridges were a far cry from the earlier, stockier, high-maintenance versions that were inherited from British/European designs. In some respects, such innovative local design was a symbolic way of releasing the restraining shackles of the colonial past and the growth of a nation. For over 40 years, these new style timber bridges, of various forms of successive improvement, dominated bridge construction in NSW to the extent that NSW was euphemistically known as the 'timber bridge state'. It was not until innovations and improvements were made in steel production, steel fixing and concrete technology in the early 1930s that the newer materials started to replace timber.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Engineering History and Heritage, 165(2), p. 99-111
Publisher: ICE Publishing
Place of Publication: London, United Kingdom
ISSN: 1757-9430
Field of Research (FOR): 090599 Civil Engineering not elsewhere classified
219999 History and Archaeology not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 880106 Road Infrastructure and Networks
950399 Heritage not elsewhere classified
870201 Civil Construction Design
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Environmental and Rural Science

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