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Wollaston Bridge Upgrade
Wollaston Bridge

Wollaston Bridge

The Wollaston Heritage Bridge is undergoing maintenance work to ensure it remains an important historical and functional piece of infrastruture for years to come.


The first of the four stages of structural conservation works for the Wollaston Heritage Bridge nvolves the following:
Replacement of timber cross girders (beams) in natural finish 
Installation of new metal bracing rods and painting
Replacement of timber blocks atop posts and painting

To retain the architectural, aesthetic and historical importance of Wollaston Heritage Bridge the structural conservation works will not diminish, distort or in any way undermine or change the cultural or historic significance of the place. 

There is no change to the size, placement or connection of the structural members and the colour scheme will be retained, noting the improvements in safety for pedestrian and cyclists. 

Any new timbers are unpainted will require time before weathering of the timber occurs and there will be some visual distinction between old and new components to retain some of the original fabric of the bridge.


Stage 1 of 4: Replace Cross Beams, Bracing and Blocks  to occur between 25 March 2019 and due for completion by 31 May 2019 with the completion of the entire structural conservation works is due to be completed before November 2019.

Traffic Impact

Stage 1 of 4: Council will implement a mobile traffic control on Wollaston Road Vehicular Bridge for alternate pedestrian access for 2-3 hours on alternate days during off peak period.  There will be NO PUBLIC ACCESS during changeover of cross beams for Wollaston Heritage Bridge for public safety and localised construction zones will be established for the bracing and block replacement on the Wollaston Heritage Bridge.


Under 2018/19 Bridge Renewal Capital Works Programme and DELWP Heritage Victoria Round 3 Living Heritage Grant, the joint funding for the $335,00.00 ex GST structural conservation works for Wollaston Heritage Bridge on Wollaston Road, Warrnambool will enable Wollaston Heritage Bridge to remain operational for pedestrians and cyclists as critical infrastructure access for North Warrnambool across the Merri River.

In partnership with:
Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning
Warrnambool City Council
Friends of Wollaston Bridge (MAD for the Merri)
Warrnambool Historical Society
Glenelg Hopkins CMA.


Please contact Jen Macmillan, Infrastructure Projects Officer on (03) 5559 4800 or jmacmillan [at] warrnmabool [dot] vic [dot] gov [dot] au

About the historic Wollaston Bridge

As extracted from the Heritage Council of  Victoria Register the listing the ‘Wollaston Heritage Bridge is of architectural, aesthetic and historical importance to the State of Victoria’.

Victoria Heritage Register [VHR] H1453
Warrnambool Planning Scheme HO182

Wollaston Heritage Bridge is the oldest surviving 1890’s cable suspension bridge in Victoria comprising a sophisticated engineering structure of a substantial span and of notable aesthetic quality.  Of social and historical importance for its associations with Sir Walter Manifold who privately funded the construction for the bridge to provide permanent and reliable access to his property. The design and construction of the bridge is attributed to Mr A Dudley Dobson M.I.C.E, as superintendent who had recently completed the construction of the Warrnambool Breakwater and the designs were prepared by Messers, Mackenzie and Dobson.

The thirty-seven metre long suspension bridge has a hardwood timber deck and superstructure suspended from steel rods and multiple twisted steel wire cables originally from old Melbourne tram routes; anchored across four square tapered impressive concrete pillars approach abutments; bluestone saddles with cast iron rollers atop the pillars for freedom of movement of suspension cables; and a timber Pratt type truss with the upper part serving as a parapet (balustrade) independent of the structure.  Specifically, the Pratt type truss is connected with the cross girders (beams) which carry the roadway that the weight of a passing load is distributed over the whole structure, and all vibration and oscillation prevented.

The original colour scheme with the bright, clean, contrasting black, white and red used on Wollaston Heritage Bridge was added by the Warrnambool Apex Club in 1972 which is valued by the residents, visitors and broader community as part of its cultural significance.

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