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Murchison Bridges

Author

Shire of Northampton

Place Number

08771
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Location

North West Coastal Hwy Northampton

Location Details

Over Murchison River

Local Government

Northampton

Region

Midwest

Construction Date

Constructed from 1983, Constructed from 1945

Demolition Year

N/A

Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents More information
(no listings)

Other Heritage Listings and Surveys

Type Status Date Grading/Management More information
Category Description
Municipal Inventory Adopted 19 Apr 1996 Category 2

Category 2

HIGHLY SIGNIFICANT AT LOCAL LEVEL. High level of protection appropriate: provide maximum protection under the Town Planning Scheme with encouragement to the owner to conserve the significance of the place. Prepare a floor plan and photographically record the place prior to any redevelopment.

Statement of Significance

The river crossing at the Murchison River has important historic and social significance for its associations with transport and communication links to the north. It also has scientific significance with the design of the bridges to combat flooding.
The site requires a high classification of protection under the Municipal Inventory and steps taken to ensure the older bridge does not fall into disrepair. Interpretive signage explaining the development of the site is also recommended.

Physical Description

The bridges are located on the North West Coastal Highway where it crosses the Murchison River north of Northampton. Originally this was the site of a timber bridge across the river, and remnants of timber piles are still visible at the waters edge between the two bridges currently at the site. Of these, the lower, stone faced bridge, built in 1945, is supported on four continuous concrete pylons and was specifically designed to withstand being fully submerged when the river was in full flood. With the increase in traffic to the north-west it became impractical for the road to be closed during periods of flood so, in 1983 a higher, all seasons, reinforced concrete, box girder bridge was built alongside the old. The area around the old bridge is a popular picnic spot as the river was
dammed just down stream from the bridges to provide a water supply for the adjacent, but now deserted, Galena
townsite and associated mines.

History

In August 1926, a timber bridge across the Murchison River was built by R. White for the Public Works Department at a cost of £1217. This bridge was washed away by floods in 1945. A concrete submersible bridge was constructed by the Main Roads Department in 1945 to replace the old bridge. This bridge was designed by Mr Godfrey and built by the Danish company Christiani and Nielsen (same team also designed and built the Narrows
Bridge). The present Galena Bridge was constructed by Concrete Constructions (WA) Pty Ltd and completed in August 1983 at a cost of $1.22 million (plus associated roadworks costing $1.85 million). Funding came from the Australian Bicentennial Road Development programme. The Galena Bridge stands 12 metres above the river bed and was opened by the Federal Minister for Transport, Peter Morris MP on 9 December 1983. Note: The ribbon, ceremonial shovel and programme from the 1983 opening are held at the Binnu School (Site No.22).

Chronology Entries
1839 The Murchison River was named by Lt George Grey in honour of Sir Roderick Murchison, President of
the Royal Geographical Society.
1926 A timber bridge was built across the Murchison River.
1945 A concrete submersible bridge was built across the Murchison River.
Source Pages
Galena Bridge Project, Main Roads Department, 1983
1983 A new bridge carrying the North West Coastal Highway across the Murchison River was opened.
Source Pages
Galena Bridge Project, Main Roads Department, 1983

Integrity/Authenticity

Orig'l Fabric: Stone and concrete bridges fully intact.

Condition

Good

Associations

Name Type Year From Year To
Public Works Department under W. B. Hardwick Architect 1945 1983

References

Ref ID No Ref Name Ref Source Ref Date
"Newspaper Article". Geraldton Guardian 10/04/1926
"Newspaper Article". Geraldton Guardian 25/02/1926
"Galena Bridge Project,". Main Roads Department, 19832

Place Type

Other Built Type

Uses

Epoch General Specific
Original Use Transport\Communications Road: Bridge
Present Use Transport\Communications Road: Bridge

Construction Materials

Type General Specific
Other TIMBER Other Timber
Other CONCRETE Other Concrete
Other STONE Other Stone

Historic Themes

General Specific
TRANSPORT & COMMUNICATIONS Road transport

Creation Date

11 Jul 1997

Publish place record online (inHerit):

Approved

Last Update

18 Apr 2018

Disclaimer

This information is provided voluntarily as a public service. The information provided is made available in good faith and is derived from sources believed to be reliable and accurate. However, the information is provided solely on the basis that readers will be responsible for making their own assessment of the matters discussed herein and are advised to verify all relevant representations, statements and information.