Queens Bridge which crosses the Yarra at the southern extension of Market Street, replaced an earlier timber footbridge erected in 1860, known as Falls Bridge. The present structure, named after Queen Victoria, was designed by Frederick M Hynes, the Chief Design Engineer for the "Harbour Jetties and Coast Works Department" of the Public Works Department. The chief contractor for its construction was David Munro, who also erected Princes Bridge, and the Sandridge Railway Bridge over the Yarra River. The bridge was officially opened by the Governor, Lord Hopetoun, on 18 April 1890. Queens Bridge is built in a very flat arch, reflecting the minimal rise and fall of the Yarra River. It is a five span structure constructed of wrought iron continuous plate girders. The bridge rests on iron cylinders filled with concrete, in groups of eight, with arched bracing between. The abutments are built in basalt and Stawell freestone. The bridge has an ornamental cast iron balustrade and a series of inverted foliated consoles beneath the balustrade.
How is it significant?
Queens Bridge is of architectural, aesthetic and historical importance to the State of Victoria.
Why is it significant?
Queens Bridge is of architectural and aesthetic importance for its unusual very flat arch which reflects the minimal rise and fall of the Yarra River. The iron cylinders filled with concrete which support the bridge are architecturally important as an unusual and innovative method of bridge construction. Queens Bridge is of aesthetic importance as an elegant feature on the Yarra River with its contrasting substantial structure and fine detailing. The bridge is an important landmark and is a contributory element in the distinct series of bridges which cross the Yarra within the city vicinity. The bridge represents a notable example of the work of David Munro who was also responsible for the construction of Princes Bridge and Sandridge Railway Bridge and who was a prominent contractor and speculator during Melbourne's boom period of the 1870s and 1880s.
Queens Bridge is of historical and social importance for its role in the early establishment of main thoroughfares in and around the city. A bridge was first built at this location in 1860. These early thoroughfares, and in particular river crossings contributed greatly in forming the shape of the city. The bridge played a significant role in linking port, recreational and industrial facilities with the city, facilitating the economic, suburban and demographic development of Melbourne.