Puneet Varma

Victoria Bridge (Penrith)

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Crosses  Nepean River
Opened  1867
Body of water  Nepean River
Designer  John Whitton
Official name  The Nepean Bridge
Total length  250 m
Location  Sydney
Victoria Bridge (Penrith) Victoria Bridge Penrith AP meet 4 Feb 12
Carries  Main Western railway (1867–1907) Great Western Highway (1867–present)
Locale  Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Other name(s)  Victoria Bridge - On State Highway No. 5 - RTA Bridge No. 333;
Heritage status  NSW State Heritage Register
Owner  Roads and Maritime Services
Similar  Nepean River, Macquarie Culvert, Endeavour Bridge, Tarban Creek Bridge, De Burghs Bridge

The Victoria Bridge over Nepean River, officially known as The Nepean Bridge, is a wrought iron box plate girder bridge that crosses the Nepean River at Penrith in the western suburbs of Sydney, New South Wales Australia. Completed in 1867 under the supervision of John Whitton, the Engineer–in–Chief of New South Wales Government Railways, the bridge initially carried rail and horse–drawn traffic, and was converted in 1907 to exclusively carry the Great Western Highway. The bridge is managed by Roads and Maritime Services and is listed on the NSW State Heritage Register.

Contents

Victoria Bridge (Penrith) Train Of The Night VICTORIA BRIDGE PENRITH 43365 I Flickr

The bridge is the oldest surviving crossing of the Hawkesbury–Nepean River. As at 2009, Roads and Maritime Services estimated that Victoria Bridge carried an average daily traffic of 25,000 vehicles per day.

Victoria Bridge (Penrith) Victoria Bridge Nepean River Penrith NSW Victoria Brid Flickr

History

Victoria Bridge (Penrith) Victoria Bridge Nepean River Penrith NSWquot by YellowGecko Redbubble

Prior to the construction of the Victoria Bridge, a punt service was located at the site of the bridge. Following the discovery of Gold in the west of the Great Dividing Range demand for a permanent river crossing increased. A timber bridge was constructed with private funds, charging a toll for its use. Opened in January 1856, the bridge was destroyed by floods in 1857, and again rebuilt. Surviving the February 1860 flood, it was again destroyed in May 1860.

Victoria Bridge (Penrith) Road Photos amp Information New South Wales Russell Street

Designed by Engineer–in–Chief of Railways, John Whitton, construction began in 1864 and was completed in 1867. Just months before completion, another major flood event occurred rising high enough to wash away the new bridges approach works.

Victoria Bridge (Penrith) httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu

Originally it took one railway line and a road across the river, however in 1907 another bridge was constructed a few metres to the north which thenceforth took two railway lines across the river, and the original bridge reverted to road and pedestrian use only.

Victoria Bridge (Penrith) Fix Victoria Bridge A lobby for a safe pedestrian and cycle

The bridge is significant in the development of the colony of NSW as it allowed the railway, which previously terminated at Penrith, to reach the Blue Mountains and beyond, as well as providing continuous road passage across the river using the Great Western Highway.

The 1867 bridge is similar in design to the older Menangle Railway Bridge over the Nepean River at Menangle, southwest of Sydney. The Menangle bridge has always been used only for rail traffic, and is still in use.

Current use

Today the bridge's significance as a road route to and from the Blue Mountains is diminished. The M4 Western Motorway has replaced the Great Western Highway as the main arterial route, crossing the Nepean River at Regentville. The M4 and the Great Western Highway join/separate at Lapstone Hill.

The bridge maintains its significance as a local tourist attraction and a centrepiece to sporting events along the Nepean River, as well as continuing to serve as vital link between the suburbs west of the Nepean, such as Emu Plains, and the major suburban centre of Penrith. The 1907 railway bridge still takes the Main Western and Blue Mountains railway lines over the river.

An undivided pedestrian pathway approximately 1.3 metres (4 ft 3 in) is located adjacent to the roadway. Following community advocacy, in 2010, Roads and Maritime Services commenced a feasibility study into a shared pedestrian/cyclist pathway over the bridge.

References

Victoria Bridge (Penrith) Wikipedia


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