Campaspe Bridge spans 100 years
ROCHESTER’S Campaspe Bridge will turn 100 this month.
The bridge was officially opened on September 15, 1917 and was the largest of its sort in the state at the time.
Since its construction, there have been various upgrades including a major upgrade in 2000 that focused on strengthening and widening the bridge to cope with the heavy B-double traffic.
In the early days, when Rochester was just a village east of the Campaspe Bridge, a crossing was erected at a ford to enable people to cross.
But it wasn’t until 1873 that a hotel owner on the east paid 600 pounds for a wooden bridge.
Known as Mr T Steward, the man built the bridge, north of the current bridge, so patrons on the west could utilise his pub.
The current bridge cost 8,000 pounds and was paid for by the Country Roads Board and localities benefiting from the bridge.
The Rochester Historical and Pioneer Society hoped there would be enough community support to do a re-enactment of the original opening.
The society’s John Foster said it wasn’t possible for the volunteers to organise it.
‘‘We just don’t have the man power to pull it off,’’ he said.
‘‘We would love to close the bridge down and have the community walk across it like in the photo of the opening but there is too much red tape for us to do.
‘‘But if anyone in the community wants to take it on that would be great.’’
At the moment no celebrations are planned.
Crowds flocked to the opening in 1917.