Beulah bridge archaeology
Work has now moved to the bridge where an excavator has been used to carefully scrape back the topsoil to uncover the surviving original fabric. The initial scrapes revealed the ends of the deck that was formed to repair the bridge after WW2. The deck is constructed of timber decking boards bolted to recycled steel railway tracks which bridged the two abutments, this structure was laid over the top of the original timber joists and decking and was obviously undertaken when the original deck and joists lost their structural integrity.
Excavator clearing away topsoil off bridge. Photo Richard Taylor © Sydney Living Museums
After being documented by the archaeologist the decking and joists will be carefully lifted out of the bridge abutments and stacked on site near to the bridge. SLM hopes that two of the original timber joists will be strong enough that they can be reincorporated back into the new bridge structure. The reincorporated joists would be positioned on the edges of the new bridge structure where they would be subjected to minimal weight loading.
Post World War II bridge deck timbers and recycled railway tracks exposed. Photo Richard Taylor © Sydney Living Museums