Facelift for heritage landmark
ONE hundred and twenty four years has not diminished the impressive beauty of Dickabram Bridge.
Spanning the winding Mary River at Miva, the heritage-listed landmark, built in 1886, underwent a considerable amount of rehabilitation work last year, including the replacement of several major timber components such as decking and handrails.
The latest addition to the bridge is a colourful interpretive sign erected in the adjacent rest area which tells the history of the district, outlines information on the construction of the bridge and depicts the flora and fauna of the immediate area.
Dickabram Bridge is the oldest remaining large metal truss bridge constructed by Queensland Railways and one of only two road and rail bridges in Australia.
Built by McDermott and Owen, it is just over 200 metres long and stands some 23 metres above a particularly picturesque stretch of the river.
All spans are metal trusses except for the 11 metres approach spans which are tied timber girders.
The massive river piers are cast iron cylinders; the remaining piers and road deck are timber.
The name of the bridge is thought to be derived from a local Aboriginal word, dickaninnim, a type of yam that grew on the river flats in the area.
The cost to build the bridge at the time was $28,165.83 – the same bridge built today would cost several million dollars, according to one railway engineer.