Tasmania has been awarded a prestigious national heritage award for work to protect Australia’s oldest bridge at Richmond.

The Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources was today awarded the 2013 Colin Crisp Award – Engineers Australia’s premier award for excellence in engineering heritage projects in recognition of vibration monitoring work on the Richmond Bridge.

The beautiful Richmond Bridge, built over the Coal River by convicts using hand carts between 1823-1825 – is a fine example of convict heritage construction. It is testament to the outstanding engineering of this heritage listed bridge that it’s still a crucial part of our infrastructure 190 years later.

Tasmania has proportionally more heritage bridges than any other state, with our historic bridges at Red Bridge and Ross also being fine examples of our infrastructure lasting the test of time.

DIER Project Manager Jim Platt and heritage engineer Peter Spratt received the award for using innovative engineering to not only preserve the Richmond Bridge, but to allow us to understand the effect vehicles have on the bridge.

Their work on vibration monitoring of the Richmond Bridge is the only known example of where this concept and technology has been used in this way.

The Department permanently installed a vibration meter and camera in 2011, with sensors positioned over each arch, measuring the vibrations set up by passing buses, trucks and cars.

Richmond is one of Tasmania’s most popular tourist attractions, with the bridge and its surrounds attracting about 200,000 visitors annually. With the tourists come buses, cars, motor homes and other vehicles, so it’s vital that we protect our heritage infrastructure so it can be preserved for future generations.
Rene Hidding, Minister for Infrastructure