Red Bridge, carrying the Midland Highway over the Elizabeth River, was completed in 1838, and has been in continuous use since then. It is one of the oldest surviving bridges in Australia, and is the oldest bridge on the National Highway network.
Captain Alexander Cheyne, Director - General of Roads and Bridges, chose the site for the bridge. His plan was to cross the Elizabeth River flood plain with a causeway above flood level and site the bridge so that the majority of the construction would be in the dry. On completion the river would be diverted through the bridge into a new downstream canal, thereby bypassing the southern loop in the original river course.
The three arches are each formed by three rings of bricks. The river training walls are a feature of the bridge. They are about 39 metres long and extend upstream and downstream from each end of the bridge.
Captain Frederick Forth supervised construction. The work was carried out by convicts chosen, where possible, to include the more willing and skilled workers. At its peak, the project employed 220 men including five teams of brick makers and a stone cutter. An estimated 1.5 million bricks were laid in the structure and the training walls.
Red Bridge is a key part of, and focus for Campbell Town, and is being recognised with an Engineering Heritage National Marker.
A ceremony will take place at Blackburn Park where the Governor of Tasmania and the Engineers Australia National President will partake in the unveiling ceremony.
Hon. Rene Hidding
Governor of Tasmania
Engineers Australia National President
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