Murrabit Lift Span Bridge

Murrabit Bridge is located approximately 52km from Swan Hill and 34km from Barham or 24km along Victorian side over the Murray River and is maintained by the NSW RTA. In 1850, a crossing was established at Gonn, below Barham and soon a punt was provided. A rail link from Kerang was established upstream from the Gonn Punt and a bridge over the Murray, known as Gonn Crossing Bridge was completed in 1926. Designed in Victoria it carried both rail and road traffic until 1961, when the railway was closed. Because the bridge was located a long way from the original Gonn Crossing, a new town called Murrabit was established near the bridge which is still used today. Murrabit is the home of the well known and attended Murrabit Market, held 1st Saturday every month. It is a steel girder bridge, two lanes wide, and unique due to the unusual design and lift span. The main axis of the bridge is north ? south. There are three (3) main spans including one lift span, supported on concrete piers. There are two (2) approach spans at each end. The approach spans have steel beams on a steel headstock. The deck in the approach spans and the lift span are timber, while the other spans have buckle plates & concrete. The two (2) main spans (27.7m) other than the lift span, have rivet steel main girders on each slate, with steel cross girders and stringers, on which are the buckle plates. The lift span (18.6m) is unusual. It has riveted steel posts and girders, and a lattice steel superstructure. The counter weights are over the deck and the operation appears to be from platforms at the top. The difference to other bridges probably arises from the Victorian design. The approach spans (7.3m) have steel beams, on a pier consisting of timber piles and a steel headstock. The main piers are concrete with a concrete diaphragm. There is no footway, but the bridge is 5.5m wide between kerb and there is unlikely to be much foot traffic. The bridge has a 7.3m clearance to normal water level. The Gonn Crossing bridge has local significance as the gateway between Kerang and Murrabit. As the 2 towns are not large there is considerable commuting across the bridge for services that are not duplicated in each town. The township of Murrabit was first surveyed in 1922 to form the north side of the bridge and to the end of the railway. Allotments were sold in 1924. A hall and Anglican church were built in 1926. The bridge provides a focal point, as the river is the major geographical feature in the area (apart from the Market) and the centre for most recreation. The bridge also provides a reminder of two forms of transport that were so important ? river and rail.

Contact Details

  • Wakool Shire Council - Engineering Dept
  • Phone: 03 58875007
  • Fax: 03 58875103