A large brick arch viaduct consisting of 13 x 13.1 m (43 feet) spans over the Mulwaree River, in Goulburn and is accessible from Mulwaree Street.
The skew brick piers of the 1869 single track railway are on the Up (north) side of the brick viaduct.
viaduct over Mulwaree Ponds 1914, including abandoned piers, 1868
Physical condition is good.
By the early 1900s much of the original single track railways in New South Wales had become inadequate for railway operations, particularly the busy Main Lines (South, West and North) through the Great Dividing Range. Plans were made to duplicate the tracks and at the same time ease the original steep grades and sharp curves, usually all achieved by deviation works.
It was a major programme beginning in 1910 and continuing to 1923. The dominant bridge building material was bricks, mostly from the 1912 State Brickworks at Homebush and mostly in the form of brick arches. This was due to (a) a general lack of expensive imported steel and (b) a long standing government policy to see local materials used as much as possible. Even for short spans, 6.1 m (20 feet) and 9.14 m (30 feet), where a simple steel plate web girder would have been the norm, brick arches were built.
The quantity of bricks used in the programme was enormous so the period 1910-23 could be aptly described as the ‘era of brick arch construction’. Thereafter, locally produced steel, from Newcastle and Port Kembla, displaced the use of bricks for superstructures, but large quantities of bricks continued to be used for piers, abutments and wings walls.
In the duplication programme, that of the Main South was the largest. It had been duplicated to Picton by 1892, then from 1913 to 1922 duplication was extended to Cootamundra, a distance of 343 kms (213 miles), in sections but not always sequentially. For example the 52 km first section from Picton to Bowral was one of the last completed in 1919 whereas the 89 kms section, Bowral to Goulburn, had been completed in 1915.
The section of the Main South from Moss Vale to Goulburn has some of the largest brick arch viaducts, all associated with the Wollondilly River and its tributaries. Four of these have the brick piers of their 1869 bridges on their Up (north) sides.