Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

North Arm Bridge; Looking Back with Di Millar

Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

North Arm Bridge; Looking Back with Di Millar

Article excerpt

NOT so many years ago, timber truss road bridges crossing rivers and connecting country roads were a common scenic feature. Wear and tear has taken its toll on these wooden bridges that once majestically spanned our waterways and battled to withstand floodwaters.

A number of truss bridges built on the Tweed featured in picture postcards. One such bridge was the North Arm Bridge at Kynnumboon, also known as Kynnumboon Bridge.

The first bridge over the north arm of the Tweed River, known as the Rous River, at Kynnumboon was planned by the NSW Public Works Department in 1881. By May 1882, the erection of the bridge at an elevation of around 20 feet above the height of the river was well advanced. The structure was under the supervision of NSW Road Superintendent Mr Gracie, with Messrs Fanning Brothers of Casino carrying out its construction. The bridge, when completed, serviced the surrounding dairying and agricultural communities and considerably lessened travel time to other centres.

In April 1908, Tweed Shire Council decided to send three delegates to Sydney to interview various government departments on local matters. They mainly concerned the control of closer settlement roads and the reconstruction of Kynnumboon Bridge, which was considered to be in a highly dangerous state due to its rotten condition.

Departmental wheels turned slowly. The Public Works Department eventually published its plans for the construction of a timber truss bridge over the north arm of the Tweed River in November 1925. The truss bridge was a Dare type truss bridge (built between 1903 and 1936) and was sited only a short distance away from the original structure. The new bridge was opened in 1927 on Anzac Day and quickly became a local attraction for photographers. Farm views from the bridge were also turned into postcards and today offer a glimpse of life on the Tweed in the 1920s.

During the 1980s the aging Kynnumboon Bridge was in need of major repair. In early 1985 the NSW Department of Main Roads employed carpenters and other workers to lay down new decking on the bridge and install new support beams. …

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