The Tuross River Bridge Collapse 1954


Photos courtesy of our Jutland neighbours :)

Newspaper articles below sourced from http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper

The Sydney Morning Herald
Monday 5 April 1954


An old timber bridge across the Tuross River, near Bodalla, on the South Coast, collapsed on Saturday and stopped traffic on the Prince's High way. The two centre spans of the bridge lie twisted and shattered. The bridge collapsed suddenly at midday as one car was leaving the bridge and another approaching it. Milk and supplies were brought across by rowboat for people cut off from Bodalla.,

The Advertiser
Monday 5 April 1954

Bridge Collapses into River

Sydney Anpil 4: Hundreds « or tourists were stranded last night
after an old 200 ft. timber on the Princes Highway- the main Sydney to Melbourne road— collapsed into the Tuross River. The bridge was built in the 1890's. -.One car was leaving the bridge and another just about to cross, when it suddenly collapsed 30 ft. into the river.


The Sydney Morning Herald
Tuesday 6 April 1954

The Tuross Bridge

Sir,-Surely it would provide fine military training, and a vital public service, were the Army to erect two single-track Bailey bridges (one lane north, one south), at the site of the Tuross River Bridge collapse and leave them in use until a new per- manent bridge is ready.

Wartime experience suggests this could be done in a matter of days.


Milson's Point.

Note the next article:

The Sydney Morning Herald
Wednesday 7 April 1954


CANBERRA, Tuesday. The Minister for the Army, Mr. J. Francis, said today the Army had a Bailey bridge which could be used to replace the Tuross River bridge. Mr. Francis was replying to Mr. W. C. Wentworth (Lib., N.S.W.) in the House of Representatives.

Mr. Francis said the bridge was available but the procedure had always been laid down that a State should make representations to the Prime Minister.

If the New South Wales Premier, Mr. Cahill, made the request, he would "carefully consider" making the bridge available.


The Sydney Morning Herald
Monday 12 April 1954

Tuross Bridge Detour Open

A detour round the broken bridge over the Tuross River on the Prince's Highway was open for traffic, Bodalla police reported last night.. The detour is through the property of the Bodalla Com pany, which has large pastoral and manufacturing interests in the district.

Police said the detour could take vehicles of up to 10 tons, including buses.

The Tuross River bridge collapsed on April 3 and cut communication with the far South Coast. A temporary bridge is being erected, but it will take nearly four months to complete.


The Sydney Morning Herald
Thursday 20 May 1954

Tuross Bridge

Sir,-A "Herald" news item of May 15 states that the old timber bridge over the Tuross River, near Bodalla, was constructed "in the 1890s."

It was built by Peter Flanagan in 1879. My Commonwealth Jubilee History of the Central South Coast, published by the Eurobodalla Shire Council in1951, gives details of the bridge in its survey of the development of the district from Bateman's Bay to Bodalla. The road originally crossed the Tuross up stream at Widget, but in 1859 a punt was established across the Tuross on the flats north of Bodalla. After serving for 20 years it was replaced by the bridge which recently collapsed, the bridge thus having done duty for 75 years.

W. A. BAYLEY. Crookwell.

Note: The Sydney Morning Herald Tuesday 6 May 1879

Mr. Flanagan's contract for tho construction of a bridge over Tuross River has been accepted.

and then further reference to its opening

The Sydney Morning Herald
Thursday 25 November 1880

Bodalla: It rained heavily last night, and has continued showery all day. It has not yot ceased, and looks likely to continue. The bridge over the Tuross ia opened for traffic, but is not yet handed over to the authorities. It is a very handsome structure, and a credit to tho contractor.

The Sydney Morning Herald
Saturday 15 May 1954

Tuross River Bridge Is Completed

MORUYA, Friday.-The temporary bridge across the Tuross River was opened to traffic at midday today. The bridge, with bituminedd approaches, was completed just four weeks and two days from the day the first pile was driven.

Forty-eight 51ft piles were driven 30 feet into the mud.

The old bridge provided most of the material. A 25 ton bulldozer was used to drag it ashore a span at a time.

Thirty men who worked on the bridge for two week-ends, including Easter, celebrated . their victory over time and the river with a party on the bank of the river this evening.

[The old timber bridge, constructed in the 1890's over the Tuross River, near Bod alla, on the South .Coast, colkpsed on April 3. It was almost 200 feet long.]