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Gaggin, Ivan
Vincents Rivulet Bridge, Tasmania: A Small Bridge with an Interesting History
Eleventh National Conference on Engineering Heritage: Federation Engineering a Nation; Proceedings
Institution of Engineers, Australia, Barton, Australian Capital Territory, 2001, pp. 223-227

In the early 1930s a young engineer, Allan Knight, working as a demonstrator in the Engineering Faculty, University of Tasmania, was given the task of ascertaining the proportion of vehicular live load for which each longitudinal supporting girder should be designed. To do this he built a structural bridge model, load tested it and measured deflections. Inconsistencies in the action of the model caused him to ensure that the bridge deck was firmly attached to the supporting beams. This move not only achieved consistency, but it also produced significantly reduced deflections, a result which stimulated Knight to consider the implications of this 'composite action' that he had built into the model. Joining the Government road authority enabled Knight to move to a position of practice in bridge engineering. The first structure built incorporating these structural features was Vincents Rivulet Bridge, the first in Australia and amongst the earliest in the world. As far as is known, Knight's work was original and independent. Composite action was then adopted by other State road authorities, became a recognised method of construction and spread to many other areas of structures. Vincents Rivulet Bridge was recognised for its particular significance by the presentation of an Historic Engineering Marker, unveiled by the Governor of Tasmania, Sir Guy Green, on 4th November 1999.

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