Saturday, August 7, 2010

PINE ISLAND BRIDGE

I came across some newspaper clippings referencing the construction of a bridge at Pine Island Tuggeranong beginning in the late 1940's. Interesting I thought because today there is no bridge at Pine Island. The Pine Island Bridge must refer to the low level bridge at nearby Point Hut crossing. The location and name Point Hut was well known and was in constant use from early times so why is reference to the bridge reported as "The Pine Island Bridge" from 1950?


Point hut crossing has been a well used place to cross the east/west divide of the Murrumbidgee River for many generations of Aboriginal people before the 19th century and has been used by white men since the earliest days of European settlement in the area.

In 1910 a petition for a low level bridge across the Point Hut ford (info) was submitted by residents on the western side of the Murrumbidgee River to the Yarrowlumla Shire Council. This petition however would probably have had little effect on council as the lands were to be resumed for the new Federal Territory of Australia... 

Queanbeyan Age - 2 December 1910


National Library of Australia (here)


36 years later saw the Point Hut Bridge issue raised again...

The Canberra Times - 16 July 1946


National Library of Australia (here)


The Pine Island recreational reserve was announced in 1947 and the first mention of construction of a road to, and a bridge adjacent to Pine Island to link Canberra with the Tidbinbilla Valley to the west...

The Canberra Times - 14 January 1947

National Library of Australia (here)

Pine Island Reserve

This clipping from 1948 references a road at Pine Island and a bridge near the Point Hut crossing...

The Canberra Times - 31 July 1948

National Library of Australia (here)

Tenders are called for the bridge at Pine Island and a road to link to Tidbinbilla...

The Canberra Times - 15 February 1950

National Library of Australia (here)

3 months later another call for tenders...

The Canberra Times - 5 May 1950

National Library of Australia (here)

6 months later another call for tenders...

The Canberra Times - 14 October 1950

National Library of Australia (here)

Delays in construction...

The Canberra Times - 20 January 1951

National Library of Australia (here)

Tender Gazetted in Feb 1951...

The Canberra Times - 13 February 1951

National Library of Australia (here)

A start date...

The Canberra Times - 3 July 1951

National Library of Australia (here)

More pleas for a bridge...

The Canberra Times - 15 September 1951

National Library of Australia (here)

The (un-signed) Pine Island Bridge at Point Hut crossing.


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