Maribyrnong River bridge replacement
  Roger Greenwood

About the Maribyrnong River bridge replacement, Richard Youl wondered if <perhaps someone has photos of that remaining 15 months>.

The attached John Alfred slide was probably taken around the same time as Richard's last photo (Melbourne 19b).

It shows the arrangement of the vehicle bridge and the tramway bridge and explains why the two were not parallel, i.e: the more expensive vehicle bridge took a shorter route across the river.

Construction of the tramway bridge was a wartime expediency to extend the Maribyrnong Road tram service to the explosives factory, ordnance factory, and pyrotechnics factory. (The extension did not directly serve the ammunition factory in Gordon St because the link with the isolated Footscray lines was not established until the post-war period).

Construction criteria for the trestle bridge were minimum cost and shortest build time. The bridge was built by the then CRB (Country Roads Board) whose responsibility was for rural roads but who had more experience in constructing this type of bridge than their metropolitan counterparts.

John Alfred took the photo from up a tree on the eastern side of the river which is apparent from the foliage in the foreground.

The rectangular object on the horizon is the screen of the Sunset Drive-In theatre, the site now occupied by commercial and retail development.

Another (later) slide to follow.

Roger Greenwood

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