What is significant?
Built in 1946, Dann's Bridge is a large all-timber simple-beam road bridge on the Dunolly-Eddington Road crossing of the Bet Bet Creek tongue of Laanecoorie Reservoir (Bet Bet Creek channel), approximately nine kilometres west of the Bendigo-Maryborough Road. It is a long bridge, with 14 all-timber spans, an overall length of 103 metres and a deck width of 5.5 metres. It occupies a picturesque setting adjacent to a broad road-junction reserve, on a prominent tongue of the Laanecoorie Reservoir. It is the largest timber bridge of its type in the state still in use.
How is it Significant?
Dann’s Bridge is of historical and scientific (technical) significance to the State of Victoria.
Why is it Significant?
It is of historical significance as one of the last large all-timber road bridges built in Victoria. It is a rare example of an all-timber Country Roads Board bridge built in the period of post-war reconstruction immediately after World War Two; the final phase of all-timber bridge construction on Victoria’s major roads. The Loddon River valley was once home to many large timber bridges, most of which have now disappeared. The bridge is situated on a historic gold-fields route. It is associated with Victoria’s second ‘National’ irrigation works - the Laanecoorie Reservoir - which was originally constructed in 1889-91.
It is of scientific (technical) significance as the largest example of a bridge built to the standard 1930 CRB motor bridge design, featuring the innovative longitudinal deck system which revolutionised engineering thinking about the viability of timber bridge construction. After the (presently scheduled) replacement of the nearby 10-span Bet Bet Bridge, it will become the only known surviving example of this important class of bridge with more than 5 spans. It was probably the last all-timber bridge of its size built by the CRB; it is highly unusual that as late as 1946 the CRB chose to replace a Main Road bridge using what is essentially a pre Second World War all-timber stringer bridge design. It is also an exceptionally long example of an all-timber road bridge of any type, and is the longest all-timber bridge still in use in Victoria. The only longer examples are the long-disused and declining Tyers Road bridge, which has a different (transverse) deck, and the Hopkins River Bridge at Warrnambool, which is presently scheduled for demolition.