Monday, 3 December 2012

Windang Bridge

Residents requested a operational punt at Windang in 1926 but conditions at the Lake Entrance were not suitable.

In 1936 work began building a timber bridge of Lake Illawarra to connect Shellharbour and Wollongong. The bridge was officially opened 2 April 1938 and was 1,050 feet long with a 12 foot clearance at high tide, a 20 foot carriageway and a 5 foot path. The bridge cost £43,600 to construct.

George McIver was the head builder. A crane was used to pick up huge logs and poles (40 foot long with a big concrete block about 4-5 feet high and 3 feet wide), and lift them into the air about 30 feet. The logs were then released and a pile driver hit the pole into the water, to make the footings.

The bridge builders lived in canvas tents painted with a little lime and cement while they were constructing the bridge.

The townspeople held a party when the bridge was finally finished and everyone walked over the bridge. A corroboree was held near the Windang camping area.

On 22 December 1971 a new cement bridge was completed and opened for south side traffic access, and on 22 September 1972 the north side was opened providing a four lane carriageway over Lake Illawarra.

Windang Bridge c.1940
Shellharbour Images Shellharbour City Libraries.

Windang Bridge c.1938
Shellharbour Images Shellharbour City Libraries.

Windang Bridge c.1938
Shellharbour Images Shellharbour City Libraries.




 

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