Building Bridges NSW
Australian Scaffolds loves building bridges. It’s one of our favorite structures to work on. There’s something majestic about bridges that’s different from other buildings. Maybe its the history of bridges that makes them special (think Sydney Harbour Bridge) or maybe its because they are built over rivers. During 2019 Australian Scaffolds was contracted to supply scaffolding to the new Windsor Bridge.
History Of the Windsor Bridge
The Windsor Bridge has a high level of historical, technical, aesthetic and social significance as an important historical and physical landmark in one of the State’s pre-eminent historic towns, and in the wider Sydney region. It is the oldest existant crossing of the Hawkesbury River. Together with the successive crossings upstream at Richmond, this bridge has played a major role in shaping the history of the Hawkesbury area.
Functioning for well over a century as an all-important link between the communities on either side of the River and as an essential component in a through route of importance in the development of the Sydney region. The series of major alterations to the structure since its construction articulate the continuing difficulties of negotiating a crossing of this major waterway with its frequent floods, however, the bridge and its original piers have withstood the test of time.
The Windsor Bridge has landmark qualities as one of only two bridge crossings of the Hawkesbury River in the Hawkesbury area and as such it defines the surrounding network of roads. It is a large structure, and although simple in appearance, impressive. The bridge represents a major engineering project in the State for its time. The iron caissons were cast at Mort’s Dock in Balmain, using iron from the first short-lived iron mine in Australia (Fitzroy Mine). They are lined with specially engineered and made bricks, then filled with concrete. The base of the main piers is the same ones sunk into the bedrock below the riverbed using pneumatic caissons in 1874.
The addition of a reinforced concrete beam deck to replace the timber deck in the 1920s is a relatively early use of this technology. The River and this crossing of it have defined the life of several generations of local inhabitants on both sides of the River. As the suburban outskirts of Sydney widen and come closer to the still distinct and distinctive Macquarie towns, the rich history of the area and its physical remains become increasingly important to the community’s sense of identity. The Windsor Bridge is thus an important part of Windsor’s history and identity.
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