Tag Archives: bridge

A significant duct

27 Jul
Blending into the scenery like a chameleon and spanning far into the distance, I ponder how it is that this 738 metre long, historically significant structure sits literally in our backyard yet many a local are oblivious to its existence.

Image: Kevin Patterson (2000) National Trust Australia

The Geelong Aqueduct, constructed in 1913 was purpose built for conveying a sewer pipe across the expansive Barwon wetlands. The Tasmanian engineers commissioned for the task of building the structure sort inspiration from a steel rail bridge in Scotland. The result was a reinforced concrete, fourteen pylon, cantilever aqueduct and upon its completion, the Geelong Aqueduct was celebrated as an engineering masterpiece and a first of its kind in Australia.

Today it remains a rare example this type of engineering construction and as Dr Miles Lewis, an associate professor of architecture at Melbourne University comments “the aqueduct is internationally significant and was one of the most extraordinary engineering structures in Australia”.

Decommissioned in 1993 the aqueduct and pedestrian footbridge that runs its length has sadly fallen into disrepair and is unstable for public access. Although you can sneak a peek of the beginning of the aqueduct from a property on Leather Street or a side view from the bottom of Tanner Crt.

Geelong Aqueduct Footbridge

Image Copyright National Trust

You can also catch a glimpse if you head across to Marshall and down Tannery Rd, being sure to look across the paddocks for the iconic structure.

Geelong Aqueduct

In the past there has been much debate about what should be done with the structure – demolish, repair, repurpose. Its future appears to remain in the too hard basket and a debate currently still without resolution.