Prince Alfred Bridge Memorial Options

The NSW Government has commissioned a heritage expert to memorialise the Prince Alfred Bridge at Gundagai.

Conrad Gargett Group Pty Ltd will assess community feedback and identify the most appropriate tribute for the timber road viaduct.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said the nearly 140 memorial ideas that had been submitted by members of the community, will now be thoroughly assessed to ensure that the most appropriate tribute is chosen.

“A Heritage Interpretation Strategy will be prepared in consultation with the community, Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council and other key stakeholders to identify a heritage memorialisation for the much-loved bridge,” Ms Cooke said.

“I look forward to seeing the outcome of this strategy, one which I am sure will encompass the fond memories of the bridge held by Gundagai residents.”

The Department of Planning and Environment – Crown Lands and Transport for NSW dismantled the timber road viaduct in November last year due to safety issues.

Engineering assessments had found the bridge, which has not operated since 1984, was structurally unsound and at risk of collapsing in a flood.

More than 460 cubic metres of timber was salvaged from the bridge for potential future use.

Some of the heritage memorial ideas put forward through a community survey include:

  • Picnic wharf over the Murrumbidgee River, a small replica of the former bridge, pedestrian bridges in local parks, or a boardwalk.
  • Viewing platform over the floodplain and bridge route, or at local lookouts.
  • Planting an avenue of trees and a walking track along the bridge route.
  • Artistic sculpture for a tourism attraction, like the Dog on the Tuckerbox.
  • Street or park furniture including seats and tables.
  • Stylish industrial timber arbour leading to a memorial.
  • Interactive display with photos, videos and information on the bridge’s history.
  • Virtual reality or QR-code display, or 3D laser memorial to light up the sky.
  • Construction of a town Christmas tree for display each year.

To learn more about the project including the community’s feedback, visit here.

Timber Salvaged for Prince Alfred Bridge Memorial

460 cubic metres of timber and trestles have been salvaged from the removal of the Prince Alfred Bridge timber road viaduct to support construction of heritage memorial works.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said a public survey seeking community input on memorial options for the former Gundagai icon had attracted 139 submissions.

“It’s great to see the community’s enthusiasm to contribute many thoughtful and creative ideas to remember the bridge and pay tribute to its many years of faithful service to the region,” Ms Cooke said.

“Thankfully a good amount of timber has been salvaged from the bridge after being assessed in suitable condition for potential reuse in heritage memorial works.

“A heritage consultant will now be engaged to assess the survey results and advise on the most appropriate heritage memorial options to honour the bridge’s memory.”

The Prince Alfred Bridge timber road viaduct was removed after an engineering assessment of the disused 125-year-old structure showed significant structural defects, and amid concerns it could collapse in a flood risking life and infrastructure.

Consultations occurred through a working group including representatives from Crown Lands, Transport for NSW, Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council, Gundagai Bridges Heritage Inc, National Trust, Engineers Australia and the Heritage NSW (Department of Premier and Cabinet).

The separate Prince Alfred iron road bridge, which is still in operation across the Murrumbidgee River, and the nearby disused rail viaduct, both remain in place.

Minister for Water, Property and Housing Melinda Pavey said survey ideas for heritage memorial works ranged from a picnic wharf on the Murrumbidgee River to pedestrian bridges, boardwalk and viewing platforms.

“Other ideas included a sculpture that can be a tourism icon like the Dog on the Tuckerbox, an avenue of trees and walking track, and interactive options including virtual reality or 3D laser displays,” Mrs Pavey said.

“St Patrick’s Primary School students made suggestions including park furniture, a mini replica of the bridge, and even a town Christmas tree.”

Further information on the survey results is at Gundagai Historic Bridges.

Ideas Flow to Memorialise Prince Alfred Bridge

Residents of the Gundagai region are reminded to have their say on ideas to memorialise the Prince Alfred Bridge, with just under two weeks left before a community survey closes.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said more than 40 responses have so far been received with the survey still open until 31 October.

“It’s fantastic to see the enthusiasm being shown by the community and I encourage those who have not yet registered their views to provide their advice in the next 10 days,” Ms Cooke said.

“Ideas put forward so far have included retaining pier sections where possible, creating a viewing platform, displaying photos from different eras, and reusing timber to create community furniture, sculptures, or even a miniature viaduct model.

“Other creative suggestions include a walking track with picnic spots on the viaduct route, planting an avenue of native trees, and high-tech ideas like a virtual reality or QR-code history display, or even a 3D laser memorial to light up the night sky.”

Minister for Water, Property and Housing Melinda Pavey said once the survey closes, all public input will be assessed and a report provided to the community on favoured options.

“The community has expressed a desire for bridge material to be salvaged and reused and we are committed to doing that if possible,” Mrs Pavey said.

“If viaduct piers are in suitable condition for short sections to be safely retained, we will also do that to honour the bridge’s memory.”


Meanwhile, preparations continue for the planned removal of the disused timber viaduct from next month, after engineering assessments showed major structural defects, posing significant risks to the community and other infrastructure.

For more information and to have your say, visit Gundagai Historic Bridges.

Have your say on Prince Alfred Bridge Memorial Options

Residents of Gundagai and surrounding areas who share fond memories of the Prince Alfred Bridge are invited to have their say and submit their ideas on how they would like to see the much-loved structure memorialised.

Member for Cootamundra, Steph Cooke said the NSW Government had recently opened a community survey to get ideas and feedback on potential options to celebrate and remember the important role the bridge has played in the community.

“An online community survey is now open, and I strongly encourage residents to come forward, have their say to share their ideas on how best we can celebrate and remember the historic structure,” Ms Cooke said.

“Over the years I have heard many beautiful stories and memories people have of the bridge. Members of the community have previously also shared many wonderful ideas on how to memorialise the bridge when the time came for its removal.”

“Planning is underway to remove the bridge as soon as possible to ensure public safety, so now is the time for the community to step forward to play an active role in the planning for a tribute to the cherished bridge by re-sharing their personal stories and ideas.”

The timber road viaduct has been closed to traffic since 1984 and recent engineering assessments showed major structural defects, posing significant risks to life and other infrastructure.

Minister for Water, Property and Housing Melinda Pavey the NSW Government will consider all community feedback from the survey and prepare memorial options for the community’s consideration and endorsement.

“It is hoped that if there are salvageable materials from the viaduct that these can be reused as part of a local tribute,” Mrs Pavey said.

For more information and to have your say on memorialising the bridge visit http://dpie.nsw.gov.au/gundagai-historic-bridges

125 Year old Prince Alfred Bridge to be removed but not forgotten

The NSW Government has today announced that the 125 year old Prince Alfred Bridge in Gundagai will soon be removed due to the significant risks posed to both people and structures downstream.

Minister for Water, Property and Housing Melinda Pavey said removing the timber structure, which has been closed to traffic since 1984, was necessary after an engineering assessment showed significant structural defects and concerns it would collapse even in a relatively minor flood event, posing significant risks to life and other infrastructure.

“While it’s sad to say goodbye to this piece of local history, it’s just not feasible to restore or replace the 125 year old timber viaduct,” Mrs Pavey said.

“But I want to reassure the community that the NSW Government wants to hear what the community has to say and their thoughts on the options to preserve the history of the bridge for future generations, with salvageable materials to be reused as part of a local tribute where possible.”

Work to remove the structure is expected to start in late November 2021 and be completed in December, following planning and environmental approvals.

Member for Cootamundra, Steph Cooke said locals were encouraged to play an active role in planning to memorialise the much-loved bridge.

“There is an opportunity to create a place for locals and visitors to congregate, that celebrates the bridge’s history and the valuable role it has played in the community,” Ms Cooke said.

“Options will be considered on how best to capture the historical significance of the bridge and how to share the great memories many locals have of the bridge. We will be reaching out to the community soon for feedback so when the time comes, I urge the people of Gundagai to put forward their suggestions on what the memorial may look like.”

“I thank the many people who have been involved in the discussions about the bridge over several years, especially the passionate members of Gundagai Bridges Heritage Inc.”

Consultations on the future of the structure have occurred over many years and recently through a working group including the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment – Crown Lands, Transport for NSW, Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council, Gundagai Bridges Heritage Inc, the National Trust, Engineering Australia, and Office of Environment and Heritage.

We understand this is a significant loss for the Gundagai community but the ongoing risk to life and other infrastructure is too great.

In May 2021, an oversized truck hit the structure, forcing a section of the viaduct to be removed over O I Bell Drive. Since this time the ongoing wet weather in the area has significantly accelerated the deterioration of the bridge’s condition.

The separate Prince Alfred iron road bridge which is still in operation across the Murrumbidgee River, and the nearby disused rail viaduct, will both remain in place.

For more information visit http://dpie.nsw.gov.au/gundagai-historic-bridges

and the project team can be contacted on wagga.crownlands@crownland.nsw.gov.au

Images can be found here