New South Wales Roads - Old NH 31, Prince Alfred Br.
Former NH 31, Hume Highway -
Prince Alfred Bridge, Gundagai
Heading north into town on Middleton Rd. from Gundagai South. Clearly, the original Prince Alfred Bridge continued straight. In fact, current Middleton Rd. was only built in 1896 whereas the main span of the bridge dates to 1867. However, just to be clear, the bridge ahead wasn't abandoned at that point. No, the problem there was that the northern approach spans had already been replaced and was about to be replaced again (re-reopening in 1897), so Middleton Rd. was a "pressure valve" of sorts.
As Middleton Dr. turns west, I come to another timber span, panning from left to right. Since I'm coming off the road bridge, this is therefore the railway bridge. The Murrumbidgee River railway bridge was built in 1903, which therefore postdates every bit of road you see on this page. It, too, is out of service.
Looking back east from between the bridges at some of the, ahem, saggier parts of the Prince Alfred. See, whereas the Murrumbidgee River span of the Prince Alfred Bridge was built with iron trusswork from the get-go, as you saw in the first photo, the approach was always of timber. (And yes, the deck of the main span is still timber, underlying asphalt.) So even though the river span is original to 1867 and the approach is 30 years newer, it's the approach that is in terrible condition. Iron is better than wood at keeping its shape, especially in truss form. The old approach closed in 1977 once the modern Hume Hwy. was built, leaving Middleton Rd. as you know it today.
A couple more views of the railway bridge as I head under. This bridge's northern approach is also made of timber, but at least in this case the wood is formed into trusses, so the bridge hasn't collapsed nearly as much as the Prince Alfred. It's also a little fresher, with the rail line running until 1983.
Turned east on Oibell Drive, the only road that crosses under both timber bridges. The land between the Murrumbidgee River and Morleys Creek is a floodplain commonly used for grazing, hence the warning sign. First I come to the railway bridge...
Looking north on either side of that bridge.
Here we are, back to the Prince Alfred Bridge and ready to cross under, panning from left (where you the railway and road bridges coming together) to right (where Middleton Rd. comes in). The original 1867 northern approach didn't make it all the way across the floodplain to Morleys Creek, with only 23 spans of 9 m each. Not a problem for the current bridge with 75 such spans, thus allowing access south from Gundagai in any condition - until 1977.
I've made it across the bridge, so now I turn around and head back west, panning once more from left to right.
Once more, views of the collapsing structure.
Sneaking a peak east along Morley Creek from the Yarri Bridge on Middleton Dr.
Middleton Rd. becomes Homer St. as it enters Gundagai and comes here to Sheridan La., which used to be TD 6 to the left and still leads to bridges to the right. TD 6 now turns onto Sheridan Street one block later through the centre of town to West St. (following the old Hume Highway).
It amuses me that signs point to Historic Bridges to the right when all the best views were back behind me on Oibell Dr. This is all you get to see of the Prince Alfred Bridge from Sheridan La.
The view is even more pathetic for the railway bridge. I imagine the platform in the 2nd photo either gave or will give better views, but I don't know if it's planned to be opening soon or had to be closed due to structural deterioration beneath it.
To the modern Hume Highway, M31
See more of Gundagai (non-roads)
Back to New South Wales Roads
Back to Roads