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The Causeway

First Causeway Bridge

A bridge across the causeway was an early necessity. The original causeway comprising a central bridge with a raised rampart on either side, was officially opened in 1843 enabling a better connection between Guildford, the Upper Swan, York and Fremantle. It was suggested that plots of land on the islands could perhaps now be rented for summer gardens and small homesteads. [57]

The first causeway bridge was in "a moribund state" by the 1860s, weakened by heavy use, almost completely submerged by the 1862 floods and often bumped by heavily laden boats. Accidents involving horses and carts were common as were delays on the bridge. In 1867 for instance, Mr. E. C. Loftie was fined forty shillings for causing an obstruction on the causeway. The mob of cattle he was driving got frightened and wedged themselves between the rails so that they could not be moved for over an hour.

Causeway Bridge and mudflats

A new Causeway was built and the opened in November 1867. This second Causeway was made up of three bridges with a combined length of 1,600 feet but lack of funds meant that the bridges were structurally quite weak, uneven and narrow. This Causeway was widened, altered and repaired many times during its life and was again an interim structure. It was widened for a tramway in 1904 and widened another ten feet in 1932.

As traffic increased in the 1930s, the subject of a new Causeway was constantly discussed. The bridge was in poor condition generally and was far below standard in strength and had limited traffic capacity. In 1931 the Metropolitan Town Planning Commission stated that it favoured a new Causeway as there was no doubt that under existing conditions, the Causeway was unable to do its job effectively from a traffic point of view. [58]

A site was chosen upstream side of the existing bridges and the two bridges were built in conjunction with the new channels and reclamation taking place as part of the Swan River Improvement Act 1925. Once the decision to construct the bridges was taken, the steel composite construction Causeway bridges were constructed over the five year post war period during which time it was difficult to find the funds required. The two bridge structure meeting at Heirisson Island was finally completed in 1952.

Causeway Bridge and TramTrams at the CausewayCauseway Resident
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Page last updated: Tuesday 23 November 2010 by Nick Cowie Asset ID 13132
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