Sugarloaf Road Bridge Opening
An important celebration event marking the restoration and reopening of the Sugarloaf Road Bridge was held recently. The event was auspiced by local community group, Axedale Our Town Our Future (AOTOF), with support from the City of Greater Bendigo, Timber Restoration Systems and the State Emergency Service.
The City of Greater Bendigo awarded a contract for major repairs to the historic bridge, to Timber Restoration Systems, and Sugarloaf Road has been closed since early June to enable the works to the bridge to be undertaken. The project was more complex than originally anticipated, but the road re-opened to traffic on 01 October 2019.
Chis Hobson, President of AOTOF, said today: ‘this beautiful historic bridge is important, not just to the heritage of Axedale, but as an important transport and access link for an area that is growing in population. We know that the local residents campaigned for 12 years from 1862 onwards, for a bridge to be built. It was finally opened in 1874, almost exactly 145 years ago.
The bridge was almost destroyed 120 years later, when the the Shire of Strathfieldsaye tendered for works to demolish the bridge and replace it with a floodway, in 1993. It was only saved by local residents campaigning for the preservation and maintenance of the bridge, until council reversed it’s decision and agreed to fund repairs.
The celebration event was attended by many local residents, who appreciated the work done to restore the bridge. They were also appreciative of the bridge being open to traffic again. Afternoon tea was provided and historical information was on display. A range of emergency preparedness resources was available to be viewed.
* Special thanks to Frances Ford for making this information available.