General Information

Timber truss bridges and timber bridges were so common that NSW was known to travelers as the timber bridge State, with the Wakool Shire having some 45 timber bridges alone out of 75 overall. Council has tried in recent years to replace 2 timber bridges per financial year.

Timber truss bridges were preferred by the Public Works Department from the mid 19th to the early 20th Century because they were relatively cheap to construct, and used mostly local materials. The financially troubled Governments of the day applied pressure to the Public Works to produce as much road & bridge work for as little cost as possible, using local materials. This condition effectively prohibited the use of iron & steel, as these prior to the construction of the steel works at Newcastle, in the early 20th century, had to be imported from England.

In 1998 there were 27 surviving DARE trusses in NSW of the 40 built and 82 road truss bridges surviving from over 400 built.

Timber truss road bridges have played a significant role in the expansion and improvement of the NSW Road network. Prior to bridges being built, river crossings were often dangerous in times of rain, which caused bulk freight movement to be prohibitively expensive for most agricultural and mining produce. Only the high priced wool clip of the time was able to carry the costs and inconvenience imposed by generally inadequate river crossings that often existed prior to the construction of various bridges.