- Canning Bridge
Canning Bridge is a traffic bridge which is the most downstream crossing of the Canning River in the city of Perth, Western Australia. The bridge is a part of
Canning Highway, and it connects the suburbs of Como and Applecross. The Canning River is approximately 100 metres (328 ft) wide at the crossing, [Width estimated from 47th edition (2005) UBD, Map 308.] the narrowest point of the river along its downstream stretch. [ [http://www.southperth.wa.gov.au/eservice/SouthPerth/history/history1.htm www.southperth.wa.gov.au] "A Brief History of the City of South Perth". Access 22 March 2006.] It is located near the Canning Bridge railway station, Perth.
There have been four different structures at the present site.
First bridge: 1849
The first bridge was designed in 1846 by
Henry Trigg, then Superintendent of Public Works.cite web |url = http://www.southperth.wa.gov.au/meetings/docs/2003/mar/ordinary_council/Attachment921c.PDF |title = LGA Place No: CB7 / Canning Bridge |accessdate = 2007-08-14 |year = 2003 |month = January |format = PDF |work = Municipal Heritage Inventory |publisher = City of South Perth |language = English] The bridge as designed was 520 feet (175 m) long and 12 feet (4 m) wide. It had a central span of 24 feet (8 m), and its deck sat just 8 feet (2 m) above the river water.
Construction on the bridge was not commenced until 1849 because the original tenders were too costly. The bridge was built by Solomon Cook, costing £425. The bridge served as a vital traffic link between
Fremantle, Perth and Guildford.
Second bridge: 1867
Flooding in the Swan and Canning Rivers in 1862 damaged the Canning and Helena Bridges, as well as
The Causeway. As a result, a new Canning Bridge was built in 1867 by convicts. This second bridge had a clearance of 12 feet (4 m) above the river water; the bridge deck was raised to have a clearance of 18 feet (6 m) in 1892.
Third bridge: 1908
Due to poor maintenance, the second bridge slowly deteriorated. A fire damaged the structure, and since the road served as a critical traffic link, funding was provided for a new bridge in 1907 and 1908. The new bridge was built in 1908 at a cost of £2,023, and was a sturdier construction. It was located south east of the present bridge.
Great Depression, between 1930 and 1933, bushland on the eastern bank of the Canning River at Canning Bridge hosted many homeless families in bushland camps. [ cite book
last = Burns
first = S.G.
title = The camps at Canning Bridge : during the depression years 1930-1933
year = 1990
publisher = J. & S.G. Burns
Medina, Western Australia
isbn = 0731681428 ]
Current structure: 1939
Construction on a replacement for the third bridge began in 1938. The new bridge, which cost £24,830, was opened in December 1939. It was a timber pile-driven bridge constructed of
jarrah, karriand wandootimber, and features three navigation spans, two of 24 metres and one of 18 metres. It is 175 metres long.
Due to the outbreak of
World War II, the third bridge was not immediately demolished, in case of damage to the new bridge by enemy attack. The third bridge was kept in place until the late 1940s.
The 1939 bridge remains standing today, however it has been extensively modified since it was first opened and only carries Eastbound traffic on Canning Highway. In 1958, another pile-driven timber bridge was constructed alongside the existing 1939 bridge on its upstream (Southern) side,cite book
title = Large timber structures in Western Australia, Vol. 2
year = 1998
publisher = Engineering Heritage Panel, Western Australia Division, Institution of Engineers
Perth, Western Australia
isbn = 0909421412
pages = 1056-1057 ] effectively doubling the traffic capacity of the structure. This newer structure featured a fishing platform below, but in most other respects was very similar to the original carriageway.
1958 saw the shortening of the 1939 (downstream) bridge on its Eastern end by 3 spans to accommodate an on-ramp to the then-new
Kwinana Freeway. Then, between 1965 and 1966, both the downstream and upstream bridges were widened on their outer sides by an extra 2 piles, to give a total of 8 piles per pier on each bridge. At this time, the fishing platform underneath the 1958 (upstream) bridge was also extended and modified.
1976 saw the installation of a reinforced concrete overlay onto the 1939 (downstream) bridge's deck, and the same was performed on the 1958 (upstream) bridge in 1984. The original karri timber halfcaps in the 1939 bridge's structure were replaced by steel in 1994-1995 due to termite damage. Other substructure repairs were also carried out at this time, and the Eastern abutment of the 1958 bridge was reinforced with concrete.
In 1997, the reinforced concrete overlay on the bridge decks was replaced, and was expected to help lengthen the lifespan of the structure by 40 years. [cite news |first = Wendy |last = Caccetta |title = Canning Bridge Work Slows Traffic |publisher =
The West Australian|page = 28 |date = 1997-04-05|accessdate = 2007-08-20 |language = English |quote = The new concrete slab will be twice as thick as the existing one and is expected to extend the bridge's life by 40 years.] Further reinforced concrete was used in 1998-1999 to stop further damage to the bridge's superstructure.
The location of Canning Bridge on the road from Fremantle to Perth and Guildford made it a suitable location for accommodation and refreshments. As a result, in 1896 the Canning Bridge Hotel was built near the bridge on its Western (
Applecross) side.cite news
first = Mark
last = Drummond
title = Raffles swings back to its heyday of bow ties, gowns
url = http://www.thewest.com.au/default.aspx?MenuID=27&ContentID=11371
The West Australian
accessdate = 2008-01-23 ] This building was extensively upgraded in 1939 with a distinctive
art deco- facadedesigned by architect William G. Bennett to coincide with the construction of the current bridge. The building was renamed the Raffles Hotel after the renowned Raffles Hotelin Singapore.
Apart from its status as "the epitome" of Perth's social scene in the 1940s and 1950s, the Raffles later became noted for its animated neon billboards advertising beer. During the 1970s and 1980s the Raffles was notable for its live music attracting the most popular local and interstate acts.
In 2002, the site was sold to construction company Multiplex, which proceeded to redevelop the site into a 17-storey apartment tower. As part of the planning permissions, the art deco 1939 building was retained and renovated.
*cite book | first=Leigh | last=Edmonds | title=The vital link: a history of Main Roads Western Australia 1926-1996 | publisher=University of Western Australia Press | location=Nedlands, Western Australia | year=1997 | id=ISBN 1-875560-87-4
* [http://www.mastery.com.au/qt/panos/cannbridge.html VR panorama underneath Canning Bridge]
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