The Stony Creek Bridge is of historical and architectural significance at the metropolitan level as part of one of the earliest railways in Victoria and the first major government railway undertaking. (Criterion A3) The bridge abutments reflect on the design philosophy imported from Britain in the 1850s which none the less exhibits the skill of the stone-mason and railway engineer using the indigenous building material ie. the ubiquitous local bluestone. (Criterion A4) The bridge demonstrates important expansion of settlement in Melbourne and Victoria, as based on rail infrastructure. (Criterion C2) When built this bridge was part of one of the greatest engineering achievements in the colony. (Criterion F1)
Australian Heritage Commission (AHC) criteria
The Australian Heritage Commission criteria consist of a set of eight criteria which cover social, aesthetic, scientific, and historic values. Each criterion has sub-criteria written specifically for cultural or natural values. The relevant criteria are:
A.3 richness and diversity of cultural features
A.4 demonstrates well the course and pattern of history, important historic events
The present bridge appears to comprise a modern structural steel span on the original 1859 rusticated bluestone abutments with the addition of a new concrete pier in the centre. The abutments show distinctive treatment with pilasters, an ashlar string course and low parapet capped in sawn stone slabs. Stonework is axe-faced regular coursed blocks with remnants of lime pointing.
The original box-section plate girder was a riveted wrought iron structure consisting of two wrought iron box girders, each 92 feet long, 7 feet high and 2 feet 3 inches wide, and weighing 26 tons with cross girders erected underneath later. The girders were mounted on two stone piers 20 feet above high water, and provided a clear span of 90 feet. The original girders were cut up and scrapped when the new span was built in 1959.
Creation date(s): 1856-8 Heritage Significancemetropolitan Map (Melway) 42 A10 Boundary description The bridge and its approach abutments and embankments, Local Government Area: Cities of Maribyrnong and Hobson's Bay Ownership Type state (PTC)