By the 1960s, concrete bridges were the norm, however by then, technology and design had changed substantially. The bridge built to replace the now heritage-listed Monier bridge, was a modern, five span, pre-stressed, reinforced concrete structure, typical of many built across the country at that time.
Surprisingly, the current bridge has been the most difficult to research with very little detail to be found.
The earliest information I could find online, related not to the bridge itself, but to the completion of "the Geelong approach to the proposed new bridge over the Moorabool River at Fyansford". This statement appeared in the 1968-1969 Fifty-fifth Annual Report of the Country Roads Board. The work which was completed by the close of the 1967/68 financial year refers I imagine, to the realignment of the Hamilton Highway immediately to the west of the Moorabool River, through the cutting which is still in use today.
|Looking west through the modern cutting at Fyansford|
|Old road west of the Moorabool River at Fyansford|
Soon after the bridge opened however, the road was probably the site of an accident which saw a dray tip over the edge of it, falling down a "precipice some twenty feet deep" (The Argus, 27th April, 1855). The following year, in March, 1856 tenders were called for the erection of 450 lineal yards of fencing along an embankment at Fyansford - possibly the fence which can be seen in the photo below and which may have saved the dray had it been installed sooner.
|Portion of an 1859 image of Fyansford, showing the first bridge and road|
leading up the west bank of the Moorabool River. Original image held by
the State Library of Victoria
|Remains of the stone wall beside the old road|
After the new section of road was completed, construction of the bridge itself was considered. An article from The Age, 31st December, 1968 indicated that tenders were about to be called "for the completion of a bridge over the Moorabool River at Fyansford, three miles north of Geelong on the Hamilton Highway." It was expected that the bridge would be "317 feet long [with] 28 feet between kerbs [and] a six-foot-wide footway. It would cost about $300,000 and take about 2 years to build."
Finally, the Country Roads Board's Fifty-seventh Annual Report for the year ending 30th June, 1970 indicated that amongst the significant works completed for the 1969/70 financial year was the "Construction of a reinforced concrete bridge 270 feet long [with] 28 feet between kerbs to replace a concrete arch bridge over the Moorabool River at Fyansford." The item was accompanied by a photo showing both the Monier and the new bridge.
|View of the Monier and current bridge, looking east, Howard Bruce, 1972,|
Image held by the National Library of Australia
"Moorabool River Bridge-Hamilton Highway, Shire of Corio: a five span prestressed concrete beam and reinforced concrete bridge 320 feet long by 28 feet between kerbs plus a footway 6 feet wide."
A quick look at Google Earth suggests that the latter was probably the more accurate description.
|The current bridge at Fyansford. Looking north east|
|The modern bridge from the west bank of the Moorabool River|