Bunbury Bridge

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East Perth and surrounds, c. 1935
Bunbury Bridge, c. 1930

Bunbury Bridge was a single-track, timber railway bridge in East Perth in Western Australia. The bridge crossed the Swan River near Claise Brook and was built for passenger and freight traffic to Bunbury on the South Western Railway, and was also part of the Armadale railway line.

The Bunbury Bridge (then called the Swan Bridge[1]) was built in 1892 by Atkins and Law.[2] Construction was delayed due to troubles with sinking the Jarrah piles into the soft riverbed: they were intended to be sunk 42 feet (13 m) below the water level, but reached this depth under their own weight as soon as they were put in position. Ultimately, they had to be driven to 85 to 96 feet (26 to 29 m) before a solid footing was found.[1]

The bridge was opened as part of the Perth to Bunbury Railway which was officially opened on 8 September 1893 by Governor Robinson.[3][4][5] Following concerns for its safety, a so-called "temporary" replacement bridge was built between 1930[6] and 1932.[7][8][9]

Locals referred to the Bunbury Bridge as "Big Bunna", and the smaller bridge which crossed the nearby Burswood Canal at Riversdale (Rivervale) as "Little Bunna".[citation needed]

After 63 years of use, the temporary structure was closed when a new concrete railway bridge opened in 1995.[10][11] The old timber bridge was demolished in early 1996. The 1995 concrete dual-track Goongoongup Bridge was built as part of the electrification of Perth's suburban railways. Windan Bridge (opened April 2000) is immediately adjacent and carries road traffic from the Graham Farmer Freeway.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "The South-Western Railway: Mr Neil McNeil's Picnic". The West Australian. Perth. 19 December 1892. p. 2. Retrieved 2012-10-14.
  2. ^ Gunzburg, Adrian; Austin, Geff (2008). "Table Construction of the W.A Government Railways network, 1879-1931". Rails through the Bush: Timber and Firewood Tramways and Railway Contractors of Western Australia. Perth, Western Australia: Rail Heritage WA. pp. 208–210. ISBN 978-0-9803922-2-7. OL 12330925W.
  3. ^ "City of Perth". Australian Town and Country Journal. NSW: National Library of Australia. 14 October 1893. p. 19. Retrieved 7 April 2012.
  4. ^ "Perth-Bunbury Railway Bridge Over The Swan River". The Inquirer & Commercial News. Perth: National Library of Australia. 28 April 1893. p. 1 Supplement: The Inquirer and Commercial News. Retrieved 7 April 2012.
  5. ^ "Wikisource link to Chapter 21". History of West Australia. Wikisource. 1897. p. 339. 
  6. ^ "New Bunbury Bridge Commenced". The Sunday Times. Perth: National Library of Australia. 15 June 1930. p. 5 Section: Second Section. Retrieved 7 April 2012.
  7. ^ "New Bunbury Bridge". The West Australian. Perth: National Library of Australia. 22 January 1932. p. 20. Retrieved 7 April 2012.
  8. ^ "New Bunbury Bridge". Western Mail. Perth: National Library of Australia. 19 June 1930. p. 23. Retrieved 7 April 2012.
  9. ^ Bunbury Bridge, East Perth – history of the bridge built in 1932 and plans for its replacement Westrail News, April 1993, p.5
  10. ^ Bunbury Bridge, East Perth – $10m contract awarded to Transfield Constructions for new bridge construction Westrail News, Feb. 1994, p.1,6
  11. ^ "Official opening of Goongoonup Bridge (sic)". Govt. of Western Australia. 24 July 1995.[permanent dead link]

Coordinates: 31°56′53″S 115°52′58″E / 31.94794°S 115.88286°E / -31.94794; 115.88286