Two bridges and a culvert

A hidden heritage artefact has been uncovered at a bridge worksite in Victoria by an environmental advisor.

The Laing O’Rourke Bridge Inn Road Upgrade project has built a new bridge over Plenty River and the existing 1867-built bluestone structure given a new concrete deck and repurposed as a walking and cycling crossing.

Located in north-east Melbourne, the project is also adding extra lanes between Plenty and Yan Yean Roads, upgrading intersections, the construction of safety barriers and shared pedestrian and cycling paths.

But the timely sighting of what turned out to be a seven metre-long timber piece of heritage infrastructure emerged during excavation works near the Yan Yean Pipe Track.

Thousands of photographs were taken and a 3D model made as part of the investigation. Heritage experts confirmed a timber culvert from the 1870’s had been discovered. The team believes it was built to divert surface water following construction of an aqueduct at Yan Yean.

At the time, Melbourne was growing quickly and with the booming economy came the construction of infrastructure such as the aqueduct, culver, roads and bridges.

Heritage Victoria was alerted to the artefact and the project team removed the culvert for further analysis and for excavation works to continue.

Image: Construction of the new bridge over Plenty River.

About the author

Desi Corbett

Desi is the Editor of Concrete in Australia and at the helm of our magazine for 8 years. She was behind the Institute's weekly news bulletins from 2016-2021 and is now writing our focused news items. Desi has been an engineering news and features journalist/editor across all disciplines since 2013 - part of a 30-year career writing for a wide range of industries.