The Redesdale Bridge is a wrought iron and timber structure with bluestone abutments which was installed over the Campaspe River in January 1868, although the bridge actually bears the date 1867. In 1859, the "Herald of the Morning", a ship carrying a cargo including 350 tons of ironwork for the Hawthorn bridge, caught fire and was scuttled a quarter of a mile off the jetty at Sandridge. A Melbourne salvaging firm raised the ironwork from the bottom of the bay, but after details of an arranged sale to the government caused a scandal in Parliament, the material was sold privately to the Melbourne foundry Langlands & Co. Two hundred tons of it was sold to the goldfields shires of McIvor and Metcalfe for only £1000. The bridge was designed by engineer TB Muntz and built by a contractor named Doran, and was completed late and considerably over budget at £6274. The bridge spans 45.7m across the river and has two roadways which are carried between three metal lattice girders in a through truss configuration. The design for the Hawthorn bridge had the deck supported over the trusses, and to stiffen the through truss configuration three sets of distinctive paired arches connect the trusses above the roadways. The roadway decking is constructed of longitudinally placed timbers on timber cross girders which rest on the lower chords of the trusses.
The Redesdale Bridge is substantially intact, with recent replacement of the timber crossbeams and decking and an increase in the height of the arch trusses. A recent collision with a truck necessitated repairs to the trusses and abutments.
How is it significant?
The Redesdale Bridge is of scientific (technological), historical and aesthetic significance to the State of Victoria.
The Redesdale Bridge is of scientific (technological) significance as a rare example of an iron lattice triple through truss bridge with stiffening paired arches. The bridge, imported from England, is one of the oldest surviving metal truss bridges in the State and is an important illustration of early iron bridge construction techniques.
The bridge is of historical significance as a river crossing on the important route that linked the goldfields centres of Kyneton and Heathcote, for its connection with the Hawthorn Bridge and associated ship fire and parliamentary scandal.
The bridge is of aesthetic significance as one of the most visually distinctive bridges in Victoria, located above a broad and deep river valley.