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Wilks Creek Bridge, Triangle Rd, Marysville, VIC, Australia

Photographs None
List Register of the National Estate (Non-statutory archive)
Class Historic
Legal Status Indicative Place
Place ID 102643
Place File No 2/16/026/0028
Nominator's Statement of Significance
The Wilks Creek Bridge is strongly associated with the construction of the Yarra Track from 1864, providing access through the mountainous country from Eltham to the Woods Point goldfields, and opening up previously remote forest areas along its route for settlement. (Criterion A.4)

The composite stone and timber construction of the bridge is generally rare in Victoria. Whilst the timber components have been replaced several times due to the damp conditions and general deterioration, the bridge remains an excellent example of early bridge construction in the region. The decking also retains evidence of earlier surfacing and the white-painted railing reflects the earlier use of the bridge for horse-drawn vehicles. The bluestone abutments are of particular interest as the earliest elements of the bridge, apparently dating from 1871, and in excellent condition. (Criterion F.1))

It is possible that Indigenous cultural values of national estate significance exist in this place. As yet the Australian Heritage Commission has not identified, documented or assessed these values.
Official Values Not Available
A structure relating to the communication and services theme. The Wilks Creek bridge, located on the Narbethong-Marysville Road, 3 km from Marysville, was a timber girder bridge on bluestone abutments. It had two spans of 5.5 metres, with additional timber propping at the middle of each span. During the 1980s the Marysville Tourist Road was realigned over Wilks Creek adjacent to the bridge, and the bridge was taken out of service. The bridge and associated track is was used by walkers to Mt Gordon. It is located in forest on the lower slopes of Mt Gordon.
The contract for the Wilks Creek bridge was apparently let to Leamon, Short and Aitken of Clyde on Cranbourne, in May 1871. The specifications included demolition of the existing bridge, construction of masonry walls, and the "masonry cut work and stone to receive struts". The carpentry included beams, floor and tarring. railing involving fencing and painting, and metalling of the roadway approaches from either side. The allowance for the contract was 911.10.9. The timber work had to be repaired or replaced at least twice, with the last work undertaken in 1950. The bridge was built along the Yarra Track, which was constructed in 1864-5 through the Marysville area to connect the mining districts of the Upper Goulburn with Melbourne. Clement Wilks, after whom the bridge was named, was a roads engineer in the district in the 1860s, and a member of the Yarra Track Committee responsible for building a coach and dray road to Woods Point.
Condition and Integrity
The masonry is in good condition, but much of the timberwork has deteriorated, including the central pier which has been braced, and one of the stringers has completely collapsed (1998).
The timber parts of the bridge were demolished on 19 June 2008 after they had deteriorated and become unsafe. Vicroads documented the demolition and has a photographic record. The bluestone masonry end walls remain intact insitu.
On Triangle Road, over Wilks Creek, about 2km south-west of Marysville.
Nigel Lewis Richard Aitken Pty Ltd & McCann, J. (1994) Assessment of Historic Values: Central Highlands, Victoria. A report to the Australian Heritage Commission.

Johnston, C. , Lewis, N. , Mathews, S. & McCann, J. (1993). Central Highlands Community Workshops - Places of Importance from the Central Highlands Workshops - Vols 1 and 2. A report by Context Pty Ltd and Nigel Lewis Richard Aitken Pty Ltd to the Australian Heritage Commission.
Heritage Report "The Dismantling of Wilks Creek Bridge Deck Marysville", Biosis Research, 2008.

Report Produced  Sat Aug 2 15:36:56 2014