The Avon River Rail Bridge including all elements.
How is it significant?
The Avon River Rail Bridge is of historical and architectural significance to the State of Victoria. It satisfies the following criterion for inclusion in the Victorian Heritage Register:
Importance to the course, or pattern, of Victoria's cultural history.
Importance in demonstrating the principal characteristics of a class of cultural places and objects.
Why is it significant?
The Avon River Rail Bridge is significant at the State level for the following reasons:
The Avon River Rail Bridge is historically significant as an important part of the railway network constructed in the 1880s to provide links between cities and towns throughout Victoria. The Gippsland line was the first railway line in Victoria constructed to promote new colonial settlement rather than responding to existing needs. The Avon River Rail Bridge allowed for the extension of the Gippsland line to Bairnsdale, connecting the region with Melbourne and expanding trade and population growth in Victoria. [Criterion A]
The Avon River Rail Bridge is significant as a notable example of a nineteenth century rail bridge. It is fine and highly intact and exhibits a large number and range of the principal characteristics of a rail bridge. The large range of characteristics is a result of the construction of the bridge in two stages with the utilisation of large-scale timber piers and cutwaters in the first stage, and finely detailed masonry piers in the second stage. The bridge remains mostly unchanged from the time of construction apart from maintenance and replacement of some elements to allow for the ongoing use of the bridge. [Criterion D]