Fremantle's Bridge Heritage

Peter Palmer

Keywords: Bridge, timber, Fremantle, heritage, historical documents

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Historical records, contemporary drawings and photographs have been used to describe the eight bridges which have been built over the Swan River in Fremantle since 1863. The paper outlines the early history of the Swan River Settlement, including the events that led to the arrival of convicts in 1850, and describes how this enabled the first bridge at Fremantle, the North Fremantle Bridge, to be built. The methods used in the construction of this bridge are described in detail. The paper then describes how the construction of subsequent bridges was closely related to political and economic events in Western Australia and the development of Fremantle as the principal port for the State. The various bridges reflect developments in bridge technology since 1863 and the paper concludes that, while it has not been practical to preserve the structures themselves, their engineering heritage can be preserved by assembling and recording the available written and visual records.

REFERENCE: Palmer P.M., 2007. Fremantle's Bridge Heritage, Fourteenth National Engineering Heritage Conference 2007. Perth, Australia, 18 September – 21 September 2007. The Institution of Engineers Australia: Conference Papers.