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Heritage signage installed at Hunter bridges

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New heritage interpretation signage installed on bridges throughout the Hunter should delight history buffs and local tourism operators alike.

The unique displays tell the stories about the evolution of three essential landmarks, Cooreei Bridge, Monkerai Bridge and Hinton Bridge.

As a result, locals and visitors will have an opportunity to learn more about the rare timber-truss structures, currently managed by Transport for NSW.

NSW Duty MLC for Upper Hunter Emily Suvaal at Cooreei Bridge.

Cooreei Bridge, over the Williams River at Dungog, is historically important as it was the first Henry Harvey Dare-type crossing to be built in the state.

Dare reworked Percy Allan’s design for the earlier timber truss bridges, which resulted in a stronger and more sustainable bridge for Cooreei.

The Karuah River flows under the Monkerai Bridge.

The signage will depict its long history as the second-oldest surviving timber truss bridge in NSW, completed in 1882.

Hinton Bridge, located in the Port Stephens LGA, is one of only three lift bridges remaining in the Hunter.

Its placard explains how the [lift] span is a significant technological feature of 19th century bridge engineering associated with historic trade along the Paterson River.

“These signs pay a wonderful homage to the history of these iconic bridges, which have connected communities and visitors for more than a century, respectively,” Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Jenny Aitchison said.

“More than 400 timber truss road bridges were built in New South Wales between 1856 and 1936.

“Less than 30 remain as rare and representative examples, a heritage jewel of the state.

“The NSW Government is thrilled to be able to help locals and visitors relive history with these signs.

“The interpretative displays help people connect with their destination and drive economic boosts to local economies.”

Minister for Families and Communities, Minister for Disability Inclusion and Port Stephens MP Kate Washington welcomed the additions to the region.

“Hinton Bridge has acted as an iconic landmark for the Port Stephens community for more than 120 years,” she said.

“This signage will share the history of the bridge, which through its long life has stood strong through many changes.

“Now everyone who passes by will be able to learn about its significance as one of our region’s most historically important bridges.”

NSW Duty MLC for Upper Hunter Emily Suvaal said the Monkerai and Cooreei bridges boasted high individual and collective heritage value.

“Monkerai Bridge is the second oldest surviving timber truss bridge in NSW while Cooreei Bridge is one of just 15 historic bridges in the Hunter built before 1905,” she explained.

“They are listed and recognised as of historic significance by Transport for NSW and are on the NSW State Heritage Register.

“Both the Monkerai Bridge and Cooreei Bridge are exceptionally rare examples of these historic bridges.”

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