Historical information

A new bridge over the Snowy River at Orbost was opened for traffic on June 20th 1922. It was designed for future joint use by road and railway traffic, but it was only used for road traffic. During the last few years the condition of an old suspension bridge [the 1893 bridge] which was the only vehicular crossing between the town of Orbost and the railway station, caused much concern. The structure was of timber, except for the wire suspension cables of its central span of about 100 feet.
A design was prepared in 1914 for a permanent bridge with five spans of 85 feet composed of plate girders on concrete piers. With great increase in the price of steel
work during the war, the cost of this design became prohibitive, and the need for a new structure becoming urgent, alternative proposals were investigated. As a result
the present design was adopted as providing a sem-permanent bridge at moderate cost.
The new bridge spans the river about 160 feet upstream from the old bridge on a slight skew, the piers being at an angle of 80 degrees with the centre line of the bridge. It
has a camber of about 2 feet 5 inches in its total length of 527 feet. ( information from Newsletter March 2014 - Lois Crisp)
The photograph shows Mrs James Cameron cutting the ribbon at the opening of the Orbost Pile Bridge in 1922.
This second bridge, was built by the Victorian Railways and the Country Roads Board. Constructed at a cost of 35,000 pounds and used second-hand girders from the Flinders Street- Spencer Street viaduct. On July 4 1922 it was officially opened by Mrs James Cameron. Unfortunately, her husband, who had long championed the building of the bridge so that it would be ready for the railway to continue to the border, was too ill to attend the ceremony. In fact, James Cameron died on July 13 after a long and severe illness (ref. S.R.M. 20.7.1922).
There is a section of this ribbon in the collection - Registration No. 366.


This is a pictorial record of a significant event in Orbost's history.

Physical description

A black / white photograph of a pile bridge with a suspension bridge behind it. There are many people standing on the bridge.

Inscriptions & markings

on back - "Opening of Pile Bridge - 1922"