Gee Gee Bridge over Wakool River (under consideration for removal) | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


Gee Gee Bridge over Wakool River (under consideration for removal)

Item details

Name of item: Gee Gee Bridge over Wakool River (under consideration for removal)
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Transport - Land
Category: Road Bridge
Location: Lat: -35.3298213435 Long: 143.9277945539
Primary address: Noorong Road (Main Road 94), Cunninyeuk, NSW 2710
Parish: Noorong
County: Wakool
Local govt. area: Wakool
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Wamba Wamba
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Noorong Road (Main Road 94)CunninyeukWakoolNoorongWakoolPrimary Address
Murrabit-Moulamein RoadSwan Hill (East)Wakool  Alternate Address
Nacurrie Road NorthSwan Hill (East)Wakool  Alternate Address


Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
Murray River CouncilLocal Government 

Statement of significance:

The Gee Gee bridge is a Dare type timber truss bridge, and was completed in 1929. In 1998 it was in good condition. As a timber truss road bridge, it has many associational links with important historical events, trends, and people, including the expansion of the road network and economic activity throughout NSW, and Harvey Dare, the designer of this type of truss. Dare trusses were fifth in the five stage design evolution of NSW timber truss road bridges. They were similar to Allan trusses, but contain improvements which make them stronger and easier to maintain. This engineering enhancement represents a significant evolution of the design of timber truss bridges, and gives Dare trusses some technical significance. In 1998 there were 27 surviving Dare trusses in NSW of the 40 built, and 82 timber truss road bridges survive from the over 400 built. The Gee Gee bridge is a representative example of Dare timber truss road bridges, and is assessed as being State significant, primarily on the basis of its technical and historical significance.
Date significance updated: 13 Sep 05
Note: There are incomplete details for a number of items listed in NSW. The Heritage Division intends to develop or upgrade statements of significance and other information for these items as resources become available.


Designer/Maker: Harvey Dare
Construction years: 1929-1929
Physical description: Gee Gee Bridge is a Dare type timber truss road bridge. It has a single timber truss span of 27.7m (91ft). There are 3 timber approach spans at one end and 2 at the other giving the bridge an overall length of 72.5m (238ft).

The super structure is supported by timber trestles and provides a dual lane carriage way with a minimum width of 5.5m. A timber post and rail guard rail extends the full length of the bridge.

In the 1990's strengthening of the timber trestles took place.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Date condition updated:03 Jun 05
Modifications and dates: 1990's - Strengthening of timber trestles
Current use: Road bridge
Former use: Road bridge


Historical notes: Timber truss road bridges have played a significant role in the expansion and improvement of the NSW road network. Prior to the bridges being built, river crossings were often dangerous in times of rain, which caused bulk freight movement to be prohibitively expensive for most agricultural and mining produce. Only the high priced wool clip of the time was able to carry the costs and inconvenience imposed by the generally inadequate river crossings that often existed prior to the trusses construction.
Timber truss bridges were preferred by the Public Works Department from the mid 19th to the early 20th century because they were relatively cheap to construct, and used mostly local materials. The financially troubled governments of the day applied pressure to the Public Works Department to produce as much road and bridge work for as little cost as possible, using local materials. This condition effectively prohibited the use of iron and steel, as these, prior to the construction of the steel works at Newcastle in the early 20th century, had to be imported from England.

Harvey Dare, the designer of Dare truss and other bridges, was a leading engineer in the Public Works Department, and a prominent figure in early 20th century NSW.

Timber truss bridges, and timber bridges generally were so common that NSW was known to travellers as the 'timber bridge state'.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Technology-Activities and processes associated with the knowledge or use of mechanical arts and applied sciences (none)-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
Through the bridge's association with the expansion of the NSW road network, its ability to demonstrate historically important concepts such as the gradual acceptance of NSW people of American design ideas, and its association with Harvey Dare, it has historical significance.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The bridge exhibits the technical excellence of its design, as all of the structural detail is clearly visible. In the context of its landscape it is visually attractive. As such, the bridge has a small amount of aesthetic significance.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
Timber truss bridges are prominent to road travellers, and NSW has in the past been referred to as the "timber truss bridge state". Through this, the complete set of bridges gain some social significance, as they could be said to be held in reasonable esteem by many travellers in NSW.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
The bridge has technical significance because it is a Dare truss, is representative of some major technical developments that were made in timber truss design by the Public Works Department.
SHR Criteria f)
Rare - In 1998 there were 27 surviving Dare trusses in NSW of the 40 built, and 82 timber truss road bridges survive from the over 400 built.
SHR Criteria g)
Representative of Dare truss bridges.
Integrity/Intactness: Intact, but timber piers have been strengthened by additional piles.
Assessment criteria: Items are assessed against the PDF State Heritage Register (SHR) Criteria to determine the level of significance. Refer to the Listings below for the level of statutory protection.

Procedures /Exemptions

Section of actDescriptionTitleCommentsAction date
57(2)Exemption to allow workStandard Exemptions SCHEDULE OF STANDARD EXEMPTIONS
Notice of Order Under Section 57 (2) of the Heritage Act 1977

I, the Minister for Planning, pursuant to subsection 57(2) of the Heritage Act 1977, on the recommendation of the Heritage Council of New South Wales, do by this Order:

1. revoke the Schedule of Exemptions to subsection 57(1) of the Heritage Act made under subsection 57(2) and published in the Government Gazette on 22 February 2008; and

2. grant standard exemptions from subsection 57(1) of the Heritage Act 1977, described in the Schedule attached.

Minister for Planning
Sydney, 11 July 2008

To view the schedule click on the Standard Exemptions for Works Requiring Heritage Council Approval link below.
Sep 5 2008

PDF Standard exemptions for works requiring Heritage Council approval


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - State Heritage Register 0146920 Jun 00 --
Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage registerRoads & Traffic    

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
Tourism 2007Gee Gee Bridge over Wakool River View detail
TourismAttraction Homepage2007Gee Gee Bridge over Wakool River View detail

Note: internet links may be to web pages, documents or images.

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(Click on thumbnail for full size image and image details)

Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Heritage Office
Database number: 5051371
File number: EF14/5765

Every effort has been made to ensure that information contained in the State Heritage Inventory is correct. If you find any errors or omissions please send your comments to the Database Manager.

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