Monier Bridge – James Crockett’s traction engine testing bridge over Ford’s Creek.

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Monier Bridge – James Crockett’s traction engine testing bridge over Ford’s Creek. In the presence of nearly 200 people, the bridge over Ford’s Creek in High Street was opened on Saturday 7th November 1903, duly tested by Mr Crocketts’ traction engine, loaded to eight and a half tonne. The bridge, guaranteed to 25 tonne, stood firm; a testament to the Monier system of construction patented in 1867 by Joseph Monier. Despite some controversy over whether a reinforced concrete T-girder bridge was preferable to a Monier arch, the Council elected the arch style, apparently because it provided more water, free of impediment of floating debris in times of flood, and possible because Monier arches inherited some of the prestige of the much more attractive (and expensive) stone masonry arch. Following difficulties in construction, and twice threated by flood, the arch successfully bore its own weight, although on one occasion the centring was washed away and had to be “brought back from some distance down the creek”. The Monier Bridge served for nearly seven decades until it was demolished in 1972.

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