The Hawkesbury River Bridge at North Richmond, NSW

Hawkesbury River Bridge from the North-West

The bridge over the Hawkesbury River near North Richmond, North-West of Sydney, is one of the first reinforced concrete structures in Australia.  At the time of its construction it was the largest reinforced concrete bridge in the country, and it remained so for 25 years.

Hawkesbury River Bridge location

The bridge is one of a few examples of the Monier arch system in New South Wales.  The system was developed by Joseph Monier and licenced in Australia to the firm Carter Gummow and Co. and later to the firm Monash and Anderson.  Most of the structures built in Australia are in Victoria, including the Anderson Street Bridge in Melbourne.  The history of the structures in Victoria has been well documented, and can be found at Monash & Anderson’s Monier Arch Bridges.

The North Richmond Bridge is documented by the NSW Government Office of Environment and Heritage.

The original structure consists of 13 arch spans, monolithic with heavy concrete piers, consisting of twin concrete caissons founded on rock, joined by a deep headstock with curved soffit.

Arch spans monolithic with concrete piers

Caissons with curved soffit headstock

The northern end of the bridge can be accessed from Hanna Park, immediately to the north, which has an access path under the bridge, the path providing excellent views of the bridge and along the Hawkesbury River in both directions.

Access track under the northern span.

Hawkesbury River, looking West towards Blue Mountains

In 1926 the bridge was widened with the addittion of an additional pier and two steel girders, supported on steel rocker bearings, to provide a rail line, which has since been removed and replaced with an additional road lane.

Additional steel girder supports for rail line

Steel girder bearings

Steel girder addition viewed from the South-East

The south end of the bridge is not so easily accessible, the banks being heavily overgrown with weeds.

View from South West bank

Historic Bridges plaque

View from North-West

This entry was posted in Arch structures, Historic Bridges, Newton and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Hawkesbury River Bridge at North Richmond, NSW

  1. André Correia says:

    Great photos and a great site!
    I’ve been following your site for some months now and it always keeps me interested, either from the technical information on spreadsheet programming either from these beautiful structural examples.
    Greeting from Portugal!

    PS: Don’t you just love the way the bearings for the steel structures were materialized back then?


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