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Stacy, Bill; Venus, Richard
Bridging Adelaide's River Torrens: Pre- and Post-Federation Technologies
Eleventh National Conference on Engineering Heritage: Federation Engineering a Nation; Proceedings
Institution of Engineers, Australia, Barton, Australian Capital Territory, 2001, pp. 37-42

Bridges in early colonial South Australia were short-lived. Because the City of Adelaide was laid out in two parts separated by the River Torrens, bridges were essential to communication. The first two bridges were located where the crossing was easiest. The absence of suitable engineering materials, dearth of engineering expertise, and lack of understanding of local conditions meant that these bridges were vulnerable to rapid deterioration and destruction by floods. By the 1850s the colony had acquired engineering expertise and adopted English technologies, and by the 1870s it was importing English materials. By the time of Federation, the City of Adelaide had durable bridges located to suit the needs of traffic. After Federation it was the changing demands of traffic rather than technological inadequacies that drove bridge replacements.

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