historic bridge that has a special place in the hearts of
Keilor locals has been handed back to the people.
Brimbank Council today officially took ownership of the
wrought iron bridge from state roads authority VicRoads.
Council administrator Meredith Sussex said the bridge was
of "great historical value for the Keilor district,
being of state historical and engineering significance".
"It is considered a rare and intact example of 19th
century Victorian engineering, constructed as a direct response
to the transport demands of the gold rushes,'' Ms Sussex
"The wrought iron bridge was erected on bluestone abutments
in 1868 to replace the original 1853 timber bridge, which
had been washed away.
"The design was adventurous and experimental for its
time and had no direct comparisons in Victoria." Keilor
Historical Society president Susan Jennison said a lot of
work had gone into protecting and preserving the heritage
"We are thrilled that it is going to council, as we
would like to see a long term approach to its preservation."
The ownership was transferred at no cost to the council.
The Argus newspaper reported on November 23 1868:
"The bridge is a handsome and very substantial structure,
and, viewed from the brow of the hill when approached from
Melbourne, is exceedingly picturesque, serving greatly to
relieve the extreme baldness and monotony of the surrounding
scenery. The whole amount of the rates of the district for
two years, together with a grant of 2000 pounds from Government,
had been expended in the erection of the new bridge."
The bridge is an important link between Keilor and Brimbank
(Source: Brimbank Leader 'Historic Keilor Bridge
handed back to council' 25 July 2012)