Yowaka River bridge, Greigs Flat

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Yowaka River bridge, Greigs Flat
1486 - Yowaka Bridge near Eden - SHR Plan No 2831 (5051390b100).jpg
Heritage boundaries
LocationPrinces Highway, Greigs Flat, Bega Valley Shire, New South Wales, Australia
Coordinates36°57′33″S 149°52′18″E / 36.9593°S 149.8718°E / -36.9593; 149.8718Coordinates: 36°57′33″S 149°52′18″E / 36.9593°S 149.8718°E / -36.9593; 149.8718
OwnerRoads and Maritime Services
Official name: Yowaka Bridge near Eden; Yowaka River bridge, Greigs Flat; Greigs Flat Bridge over Yowaka River
TypeState heritage (built)
Designated20 June 2000
Reference no.1486
TypeRoad Bridge
CategoryTransport - Land
Yowaka River bridge, Greigs Flat is located in New South Wales
Yowaka River bridge, Greigs Flat
Location of Yowaka River bridge, Greigs Flat in New South Wales

The Yowaka River bridge is a heritage-listed road bridge that carries the Princes Highway across the Yowaka River at Greigs Flat on the Bega Valley Shire local government area of New South Wales, Australia. It was built in 1936. The bridge is also known as the Yowaka Bridge near Eden. The property is owned by Roads and Maritime Services, an agency of the Government of New South Wales. It was added to the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 20 June 2000.[1]


The current bridge replaced an earlier timber bridge named Saltwater Bridge. (The Yowaka River was previously known as Saltwater River). Early road construction south of Nowra was not as continuous or well planned as in the Illawarra. The majority of roads were rough bridle tracks and were privately funded. An official line was surveyed in 1859 from Merimbula to Bega. In 1864, the government extended the road from Moruya to Bega. River crossings were problematic and it was not until the 1870s that improvements on river crossings were undertaken in the form of punts or bridges. It is likely that the first Saltwater River bridge was constructed in the 1870s or 1880s. Construction of the current bridge was undertaken as part of improvements to the Princes Highway in the 1930s. It was widened in 1994 to cater for modern traffic demands by overlaying the original deck with reinforced concrete and cantilevering it to the increased width. The longitudinal beams were post-tensioned at the end spans to augment the load carrying capacity.[1]


Four span, concrete simply supported continuous over pier bridge on a 26 degree skew. It is supported on three internal piers and abutments on both ends. The north end is anchored on to the abutment and the remaining supports have rocker bearings to allow movement to the bridge deck. The deck was widened in 1994. Each of the three piers consists of two octagonal columns about 2.3 metres (7 ft 7 in) from the top of the pile cap. A concrete diaphragm connects the two columns at mid-height and is approximately 1.8 metres (5 ft 11 in) high. The thickness of the diaphragms is approximately 0.32 metres (1 ft 1 in). Two of the piers are supported on caissons while the third is supported on driven piles. The overall length of the bridge is 65.22 metres (214.0 ft) with spans of 14.42 metres (47.3 ft), 18.28 metres (60.0 ft), and 14.32 metres (47.0 ft) respectively. The deck is integral with two downstand beams running the full length of the bridge. The beams are curved, with haunches at each support point. Traverse cross beams, integral with the deck span are located between the longitudinal beams at regular intervals. The reinforcement in the original concrete consists of round bars. The concrete finish to the original structure is shutter or board finished and is aesthetically laid in the soffit area and horizontal on the abutments and piers.[1]

The bridge was reported to be in good condition as at 15 June 2005, but had been damaged by fire as a result of a fuel tanker accident in June 1999.[1]

Heritage listing[edit]

The bridge is of high state significance. It demonstrates how bridge designs evolved to address the structural capabilities or reinforced concrete compared to the traditional materials of masonry, timber and steel. It is a fine example of a continuous girder reinforced concrete bridge, a type constructed in a limited period between 1934 and World War II. It is part of the upgrade of the Princes Highway which commenced in 1924. It includes aesthetic qualities such as shuttering / formwork patterning, curved lines and a light graceful form, which addresses the construction process and structural characteristics unique to reinforced concrete. It is one of four continuous two girder reinforced concrete bridges in NSW and the only example with concrete bearings.[1]

Yowaka Bridge near Eden was listed on the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 20 June 2000 having satisfied the following criteria.[1]

The place is important in demonstrating the course, or pattern, of cultural or natural history in New South Wales.

Yowaka Bridge demonstrates the adoption or reinforced concrete as a relatively new material and the development of reinforced concrete bridge designs, which emerged during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Continuous girder bridges were one of the five reinforced concrete bridge types developed following the formation of the Main Roads Board in 1924. The bridge forms part of the Princes Highway and was part of the overall improvement works on the highway after the formation of the Main Roads Board.[1]

The place is important in demonstrating aesthetic characteristics and/or a high degree of creative or technical achievement in New South Wales.

The surface form and texture created by the formwork and shutter design on the soffit, abutments and piers demonstrates that the architectural attributes of the bridge were part of the overall design and were not purely utilitarian. The level of detailing present on the soffit indicates that the architectural detailing was as important as the structural design. The subtle arches, level springings and haunches along the main beam / girder complement the structural characteristics and potential of reinforced concrete, which allowed a lighter and more graceful bridge design.[1]

The place possesses uncommon, rare or endangered aspects of the cultural or natural history of New South Wales.

In 1999, one of four continuous two girder reinforced concrete bridges in NSW and the only example with concrete bearings. (Others are Kellys Gully Creek near Warialda Rail; Warialda Creek; Croobyar Creek)[1]

The place is important in demonstrating the principal characteristics of a class of cultural or natural places/environments in New South Wales.

Yowaka Bridge is a fine example of a continuous reinforced concrete girder bridge. It contains all the attributes of a continuous reinforced concrete girder bridge as well as the fine architectural detailing. It is one of only ten such bridges in NSW.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Yowaka Bridge near Eden". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. H01486. Retrieved 2 June 2018.


  • Department of Main Roads NSW (1934). General Plan and Elevation of Bridge over Kellys Gully.
  • Department of Main Roads, NSW (1938). General Plan and Elevation of Bridge over Warialda Creek.
  • Department of Main Roads, NSW (1934). General Plan and Elevation of Bridge over Saltwater Creek.
  • RTA. Bridge Inspection Reports - General file No. 1108, 1123, 1514, 1225.


CC-BY-icon-80x15.png This Wikipedia article was originally based on Yowaka Bridge near Eden, entry number 01486 in the New South Wales State Heritage Register published by the State of New South Wales and Office of Environment and Heritage 2018 under CC-BY 4.0 licence, accessed on 2 June 2018.