Hampden Bridge Legacy
Image: A concept mockup of the riverbank featuring a viewing platform at Abutment A
Salvaged sections of Wagga Wagga’s Hampden Bridge will be used to connect the city’s past with its future.
An interpretation feature, encompassing stories and histories related to the bridge, will stand proudly at the site of the former bridge crossing in Fitzmaurice Street.
The interpretation project was one of the specific consent conditions when the bridge was demolished in 2014.
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About the project
Significant assessment reports were conducted in 2014 to determine which sections of the Hampden Bridge would be salvaged after its demolition. These salvaged sections have determined the design of the legacy project, which will stand at the Fitzmaurice Street entrance to the former bridge.
In 2016 funding for the interpretation project, which was a consent conditions for the demolition of the bridge, became available. Somewhere Landscape Architects have designed a landscape plan for the site, using the salvaged pieces.
The interpretation project will draw on a number of historical themes – all directly relatable to the bridge: the crossing place, NSW road network, the bridge builders and engineering innovation.
The project has included consultation and investigation from various parties, including, the Heritage Engineers Australia NSW and Riverina branches, Wagga Wagga and District Historical Society, Museum of Riverina, CSU Regional Archives, Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (formerly the Powerhouse) and more.
The project includes:
- refurbishment of Pier 3 (northern side of Murrumbidgee River),
- refurbishment of Abutment A and timber ordinance fencing
- lighting around abutment A and installation of a replica gas lantern
- four interpretive signs
- etched glass panel will recreate the position and structure of the Hampden Bridge
- timber seating
- reinstatement of flood marker
- landscaping and irrigation
- refurbishment of existing community artwork
- refurbishment of amphitheatre seating
- accessible ramps and pathways
Interactive and informative signage will form part of the interpretative project. A glass sign will be installed on a platform above the original bridge abutment A (which is still retained on site) as a key feature of the project. When standing in front of the sign, the viewer sees a visual ‘sketch’ representation of the former bridge.
The original bridge abutment, built in 1893, will be used as a mural space for two photographs from the FitzGerald Collection. Robert FitzGerald was an engineer with the Department of Public Works at the time, and may have been involved in supervising the construction of the bridge.
These images provide a rare glimpse of men working on the construction site. While photos of engineers and business managers are fairly common, it is special to have a collection of photos from this time that shows the working men building the bridge.
Images for this section will provide an insight into the construction works on the bridge, and also provide an opportunity to interpret the construction methods and working conditions in the late nineteenth century. These images, combined with industrial heritage research and an exploration of contemporary newspapers, provide a fascinating insight into working class life at this time.
Image: Water flows under the Hampden Bridge during the 1956 flood
November 2019 - Scheduled completion (weather permitting)
August 2019 - Construction start (following completion of Main City Levee Upgrade Stage 2 works in the area)
December 2018 – March 2019 - Planning for construction
November 2018 - Detailed design completed
May 2017 - Funding received from Office of Environment & Heritage
March 2017 - Concept designs approved at the March Ordinary Council Meeting
May 2015 – Heritage Interpretation Strategy completed
This project is funded by:
Office of Environment and Heritage grant - $81,200
City of Wagga Wagga contribution - $286,400
Council News (26 January 2019): Hampden Bridge legacy coming to life