What was left of Gundaroo’s old single-lane Allen Truss bridge was returned to the village in June 2018 four years after it was demolished. What timber could be reclaimed from the bridge was donated to the village by Roads & Maritime Services for use by local community groups and the Yass Valley Council for streetscape works. The timber had been stored at Council’s yard in Yass while a decision was made on how much of it would be used in the streetscape. Eventually only a portion was used for tree guards and parking stops. The rest was returned to Gundaroo in three large loads.
We now have the opportunity to use what’s left for village projects. Some of these, at the school, the Community and Catholic churches, the Hall and the Park have been planned for some time. Other plans include some seating around the streets and an entrance structure at each end of the village. These are expected to reflect elements of the bridge and act as a memorial. We also have much of the steel that held the bridge together and there are discussions continuing about what to do with this. One suggestion has been the potential for a sculpture competition. Watch this space on this one.
There’s also a commitment for some of the timber to be available for sale to locals, but the quantity and type won’t be known until the other projects have been supplied.
The single lane bridge was originally opened in 1900 and was replaced by the current concrete one in 2009. The old bridge was demolished in 2014. Only about 40 cubic metres of an estimated 140 cubic metres was able to be reclaimed because of the poor condition of the timber when the bridge as demolished. Most of the reclaimed timber was sent to Taree to be decontaminated by slicing a centimetre or so from each face, and then returned to Yass. About one third was declared not contaminated and was sent directly to Yass.
A big thank you to those who made what was a big move possible and seamless, including Lou Jenal and his forklift, Peter and Kevin for helping with the drop off and Michael and Robert and others from Yass Valley Council who organised and did the delivery. Also the Catholic Church for allowing us to store the timber in its backyard. A big job (three very large truckloads) done well. Now to get it used.
Gundaroo Bridge during demolition in 2014