Trusses being lifted over the fence of the museum
Trusses being lifted over the fence of the museum

Part of history arrives at Lawrence museum

IT WAS a bittersweet moment when parts of the Sportsman Creek bridge appeared at the gates of the Lawrence Museum on Monday.

Two trusses, a timber pier and the top of a concrete pier on the back of a truck - half of what was originally promised to the museum.

The other half? Cut up and sold for scrap.

The intact pieces of the bridge had been stored at Harwood after demolition, and being too wide to cross McFarlane Bridge, arrived from the Roads and Maritime Services with escort via Tullymorgan Road.

A large crane was waiting to lift the truss ends over the fence to Lawrence Museum.

In addition, the RMS delivered 150 sq m of bridge decking. This is likely to be used as decking for the reconstruction of the Ashby Ferry when it is transferred to Lawrence Museum later this year.

 

President Rob Forbes, while pleased to see the delivery of some of the bridge parts, was dismayed that the RMS did not see fit to provide four end trusses.

"This would have enabled a small replica of the bridge to be reconstructed," he said.

"We tracked down the components of the other trusses after the bridge was demolished with the hope that we may be able to acquire and reconstruct them, but unfortunately they were sold for scrap.

"However, we have a small part of the bridge to display, and at least we can preserve this part of our history for the community and future generations."

The 1911 Sportsman Creek Bridge was a Harvey Dare design, and although over 400 Dare design truss timber bridges were constructed in the early part of the 20th century, the Sportsman Creek Bridge had the longest truss span. It was the largest, significant historical construction in Lawrence.