Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Kings Bridge, Launceston

William Doyne was trained in civil engineering in England on the London South Western Railway and later worked on the construction of a railway near Hamburg in Germany. He continued his railway career as Manager and Engineer for the Rugby and Leamington spa Railway in England. For this railway he designed and built a wrought iron lattice bridge about which he presented two prizewinning papers to the Institution of Civil Engineers.

In about 1861, Doyne was engaged by the West Tamar Road Trust to design a bridge across Cataract Gorge, Launceston. His wrought iron arch design was accepted and the bridge parts were fabricated in England and shipped from London in 1863. The parts were transported to Launceston, assembled on a pontoon, floated into position and then lowered on to its abutments on the receding tide. It was officially opened on 4 February 1864 and cost 12,000 pounds

Kings Bridge was originally a single lane metal arch that connected Launceston with the West Tamar region.
Forty years later, in 1904, a duplicate adjacent span, fabricated by Salisbury's foundry in Launceston, was similarly erected and floated into position. This structure was conjoined to the original to provide two lanes, one in each direction. While the dual-carriageway West Tamar Highway now bypasses Kings Bridge on a modern concrete structure, Kings Bridge remains in service providing direct access to the suburb of Trevallyn

Beneath the arches, there are other signs of the spans being separately constructed, differences in the style and materials in the footings, and old brick retaining walls.

A very elegant and gracefully arched open girder steel bridge that forms a fine terminating element to the renowned Launceston Gorge.

Main Text & Information Source –
Australian Heritage Database

Historic Photos –