Hinton Bridge over Paterson River | NSW Environment & Heritage

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Heritage

Hinton Bridge over Paterson River

Item details

Name of item: Hinton Bridge over Paterson River
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Transport - Land
Category: Road Bridge
Location: Lat: -32.7140523076 Long: 151.6477745860
Primary address: Hinton-Morpeth Road, Hinton, NSW 2321
Local govt. area: Maitland
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Mindaribba
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Hinton-Morpeth RoadHintonMaitland  Primary Address
Paterson StreetHintonPort Stephens  Alternate Address
Paterson StreetHintonMaitland  Alternate Address
Main Road 102HintonPort Stephens  Alternate Address
Main Road 102HintonMaitland  Alternate Address
Main Road 102HintonMultiple LGAs  Alternate Address
Hinton-Morpeth RoadHintonPort Stephens  Alternate Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
Roads and Maritime ServicesState Government 

Statement of significance:

Completed in 1901, Hinton Bridge is an Allan timber truss road bridge, and has a lift span which in the past accomodated river steamers that travelled the Hunter River system. Hinton is one of only three lift bridges in the Hunter region. Most of its engineering details are intact, and the bridge is 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 Percy Allan, the designer of this type of truss. Allan trusses were third in the five-stage design evolution of NSW timber truss bridges, and were a major improvement over the McDonald trusses which preceded them. Allan trusses were 20% cheaper to build than Mc Donald trusses, could carry 50% more load, and were easier to maintain. The people who live in the area around the bridge value the bridge highly, and as such it has social significance. Hinton bridge is in the Hunter Region, which has 15 historic road bridges each constructed before 1905. It gains heritage significance from its proximity to the high concentration of other historic bridges. In 1998 there were 38 surviving Allan trusses in NSW of the 105 built, and 82 timber truss road bridges survive from the over 400 built. Hinton bridge is a representative example of Allan timber truss road bridges, and is assessed as being Nationally significant, primarily on the basis of its technical and historical significance.
Date significance updated: 13 Sep 05
Note: The State Heritage Inventory provides information about heritage items listed by local and State government agencies. The State Heritage Inventory is continually being updated by local and State agencies as new information becomes available. Read the OEH copyright and disclaimer.

Description

Designer/Maker: Percy Allan
Construction years: 1901-1901
Physical description: Hinton bridge is an Allan type timber truss road bridge. It has 2 external timber truss spans, each of 28.0m (92ft) and one internal steel truss lift span of 17.8m (58ft). There are 7 timber approach spans at one end and 3 at the other giving the bridge an overall length of 178.6m (586ft).
The bridge is 14.3m (47ft) above the high water line and the centre lift span previously rose another 7.90m (26ft). The lifting span was fixed in position in 1940 as the need for river steamers ceased.

The internal lift span is supported by twin cast iron cylinders. The timber truss spans are supported by timber trestles. The superstructure provides a carriageway with a minimum width of 5.1m.. Guard rails are of post and rail construction over the approach and timber truss spans.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Good
Date condition updated:13 Sep 05
Modifications and dates: 1940 - Lifting span fixed in position.
Current use: Road bridge
Former use: Road bridge

History

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.

Allan trusses were the first truly scientifically engineered timber truss bridges, and incorporate American design ideas for the first time. This is a reflection of the changing mindset of the NSW people, who were slowly accepting that American ideas could be as good as or better than European ones. The high quality and low cost of the Allan truss design entrenched the dominance of timber truss bridges for NSW roads for the next 30 years.

Percy Allan, the designer of Allan truss and other bridges, was a senior engineer of the Public Works Department, and a prominent figure in late 19th 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 Transport-Activities associated with the moving of people and goods from one place to another, and systems for the provision of such movements (none)-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical 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 Percy Allan, 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 substantial aesthetic significance.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The bridge is highly valued by the nearby Hinton community. 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 f)
[Rarity]
Highly rare because of its lift span and age
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
Representative of Allan timber truss bridges
Integrity/Intactness: Intact
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
HERITAGE ACT 1977
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.

FRANK SARTOR
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

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - State Heritage Register 0147020 Jun 00 --
Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage registerRoads & Traffic s.170    

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
Tourism 2007Hinton Bridge over Paterson River View detail
TourismAttraction Homepage2007Hinton Bridge over Paterson 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: 5051372


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