La Trobe Swing Bridge
The La Trobe Swing Bridge was the first movable bridge constructed in Victoria.
This unique bridge is the work of the renowned Australian architect and civil engineer John Grainger. It’s one of the oldest surviving swing bridges in Australia, being constructed between 1880-1883, and is regarded as one of the engineering wonders of Gippsland, being able to swing through 360 degrees.
A few minutes drive south from Sale, the National Trust classified Swing Bridge is located at the junction of the Thomson and Latrobe Rivers. The bridge was designed to swing open to allow shipping to and from the river Port of Sale. The bridge pivots on cylindrical steel columns and is built with a wrought iron truss structure with a timber deck. The bridge is 66 yards long, with a central swing span of almost 50 yards.
During the peak of local shipping, the bridge was opened up to 20 times a day, allowing for the movement of steamers between the state’s capital city Melbourne and the Port of Sale.
The growth of shipping on the river waterways and the Gippsland Lakes together with the establishment of a railway line to Sale in 1879 develop Sale as a vital transport hub.
Know Before You Go
The bridge is located a little over two miles from Princess Hwy (A1) in Sale. Follow the South Gippsland Hwy and the bridge can be accessed from Swing Brigade Drive (formally part of the South Gippsland Hwy).
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