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Dunolly-Eddington Road crossing of the Bet Bet Creek, EDDINGTON, LODDON SHIRE
This thirteen-span all-timber main-road bridge, built in 1946 and over 100 metres long, is historically and aesthetically significant at State level. Timber-beam road bridges with the size and general integrity of this bridge are extremely rare in Victoria today, and the setting on a tongue of the Laanecoorie Reservoir enhances its other qualities. It survives as an example of a Country Roads Board all-timber main road bridge from the period of post-war reconstruction immediately after the end of World War 2: the final phase of all-timber bridge construction on Victoria's major roads. What is unusual, is that as late as 1946 such a main-road bridging problem was solved by using a standard CRB all-timber stringer-bridge design. This is the largest surviving Victorian timber-beam bridge built to a post-World-War 2 CRB design, and revised loading standards of that era.
The Eddington-Dunolly road has a long history going back into the gold-rush era, but most of its large old timber bridges have now disappeared. The Loddon River Valley was once home to many such big rural timber bridges. With the construction of the Laanecoorie Reservoir as a pioneering venture in Loddon Valley irrigation late last century, Bet Bet Creek was artificially broadened, hence the need for a longer bridge than originally required.
Most Victorian all-timber road bridges constructed after World War 2 were on shire roads, and even there the rolled-steel-joist was coming into its own, used in combination with timber piers and timber decks. Hence, this lengthy all-timber post-war-reconstruction CRB main road motor bridge at the Laanecoorie Reservoir (Bet Bet Creek) crossing, is unique in Victoria today. Most other comparable CRB main-road timber bridges have now given way to reinforced concrete.
The setting of this lengthy all-timber bridge amid spacious road reserves on one edge of the Laanecoorie Reservoir is very picturesque. The reservoir setting visually enhances the striking old timber structure. It is also very publically accessible, in a favoured old goldfields tourist area close to summer recreation resorts. This structure combines a rare post-World-War-Two all-timber main-road CRB motor-bridge design, and superior aesthetic qualities in an historic road and reservoir setting. Such a combination of circumstances is unique in Victoria today.
Transport - Road