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Morpeth Bridge

Local campaigning for a bridge began as early as 1870, but was not successful until tenders were called in the Government Gazette, 17 August 1896 for 8200 pounds.

Work on the bridge began in November 1896 and the bridge was constructed over three years, officially opening on 15 June, 1898 by Minister for Works Mr J.H. Young and christened by Mayoress Mrs R Sim. Percy Allan designed the bridge and Samuel McGill built the bridge for 8855 pounds.

It is an Allan type overhead braced timber truss road bridge. It has three main truss spans, each 33.6m (110ft) long, and 16 timber girder approach spans on the northern side, each 10.7m (35ft) long. The overhead bracing places a height restriction on vehicles using the bridge of 4.5m. The two inner supports of the truss spans are pairs of iron cylinders filled with concrete. Timber trestles support the approach spans.  There are two traffic lanes on the bridge with a minimum carriageway width of 5.5m.

The bridge is highly valued by the local community and is important to the history of Morpeth and the expansion of the road network throughout NSW in the late 19th century.

Morpeth Bridge is one of 15 historic bridges constructed before 1905 in the Hunter region today. It is the oldest surviving example of an overhead braced Allan truss road bridge in service, and is one of three surviving overhead braced timber truss road bridges in NSW.

Information supplied by Transport Road and Maritime Services, Heritage and Conservation Register, 2011

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