To ensure traffic, massive land bridges have been constructed across the plain.
|Old Gundagai bridges - Prince Alfred to left, Railway to right|
Prince Alfred BridgeSaid to be the longest wooden iron truss bridge in the Southern Hemisphere, first opened in 1865, this bridge in final form spanned 922 m (3024'). It was decommissioned after the Sheahan bridge was opened in 1977.
The bridge was named after Prince Alfred, the second son of Queen Victoria. He reigned as Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in the final years of the Nineteenth Century. In command of the British warship Galatea he landed in Sydney - and was subject to an assassination attempt by the Irishman Henry O'Farrell, a lawyer's clerk. Parkes, the Colonial Secretary for New South Wales claimed that this was part of a Fenian plot and feared a general uprising. Prince Alfred was nursed back to health by six nurses trained by Florence Nightingale.
I remember driving over this bridge on a number of occasions - always a memorable event. The surface was uneven, the lanes very narrow and it seemed to go on forever.
Today the bridge is slowly falling apart - in places the road surface has completely decayed.
|Welcome to Gundagai, the Premier Horse Town|
In 1903 a railway bridge was thrown across the plain spanning 819 m (2687').
In 1977 the prestressed concrete Sheahan Bridge was opened spanning 1,143 m (3,750').