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Historic bridge is swinging once more!

Issued: 
July 5, 2017

Wellington Shire Council is excited to announce that the iconic heritage listed Swing Bridge at Longford is working once again, following a $160,000 repair project.  

The first swing of the newly repaired bridge will occur between 3pm and 4pm on Saturday 8 July 2017.

Around 2,500 people visit the bridge each year to see its 46m swing span in action and it will continue to open on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, and on the second Wednesday of every month.

The Swing Bridge has been out of action since an act of vandalism happened in April 2016. A block of wood was wedged inside the gear mechanism causing an axle to bend and the bottom roller beam to crack.

Specialist engineers were engaged to provide advice on the best method of repairs. It was determined that the most appropriate repair method was to cut out the damaged cast iron sections of the central roller beam and stitch into place new cast pieces held in place with a series of specially designed and fitted multi-dumbbell shaped keys and studs. The repair works also included removal and repair of one bent roller axle.

Wellington Shire Council Mayor Carolyn Crossley says, “We understand how frustrating the closure of the bridge has been for boat owners and we very much appreciate their patience and understanding whilst the repairs have been undertaken.

“Boaters can begin to enjoy the waterways of the Thomson and LaTrobe Rivers once again, and locals and visitors can see the oldest surviving bridge of its kind in Australia in operation once more.”

The scheduled opening times for the swing bridge are:

Saturdays and Sundays: Between 3.00pm and 4.00pm
Second Wednesday of every month: Between 11.00am and 12.00pm

One section of the damaged roller beam cut out prior to new fitting the new cast piece.
Looking across at the roller beam showing the new piece stitched in place prior to dressing.
Looking down onto one section of the repaired roller beam, prior to dressing the surface smooth.

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