Tooleybuc Lift Span Bridge

Tooleybuc Bridge over the Murray River is a timber lift span bridge that was built in 1925. It is a timber truss and steel lift span bridge. It is owned and maintained by the RTA.

 
The main axis of the bridge is
North - South.  There are three main spans including on lift span, supported on concrete piers.  On the northern approach there are no approach spans, but there are three approach spans at the Victorian end.

 

The two main truss spans (21.8m) are of the Allan type.  These trusses support timber cross girders and steel longitudinal stringers.  The latter are unusual and are probably replacements of the original timber stringers.  The deck is timber.

  

The lift span (17.8m) superstructure is of riveted lattice steel, including the main support girders.  The lift span has been converted to allow hydraulic operation.  The lift span deck is timber on steel girders.

  

The piers to the main spans are concrete with oval diaphragms giving a similar appearance to the cast iron piers under old bridges.  The piers are protected by sheet pile cofferdams & filling. 

  

The approach spans, 2 x 9.1, 1 x 7.3, are timber girders.  There are five girders to each span supported on timber corbels.  The piers to the approach spans and the junction of approach span to main truss are all timber trestles.

  

There is no footway but there is a timber handrail except on the lift span, which has a pipe handrail. 

  

The deck is 8.5m above flood level. 

  

Tooleybuc lies on the extreme west fringe of the saltbush plain, a semi arid or arid area created by sediments from the Murray Darling flood water.  The salt bush provided useful fodder and the Murray frontage in this area, as in others, was largely taken up by 1847.

  

The Tooleybuc area became the scene of intensive agriculture with fruit growing the principle cash crop.  The river steamers were fundemental to the wood trade in the 19th century, so was easy communication across the river.  A vehicular punt was in operation by the 1870s. 

 

Finally in 1925, in response to pressure from fruit growers, the present lift span bridge was built by Department of Public Works, just upstream of the privately owned punt.  The bridge was designed by Percy Allan, and it was his final lift span bridge.

  

The bridge is a focal point to transport, and also provides the only gateway between the States of NSW & VIC.

  

Some Average Daily traffic counts that indicate the increase in traffic volumes are as follows:

  

Year

Counts

1969

670

1974

830

1978

1640

1986

1513

1990

1221