Explored by Europeans soon after first settlement, the area of Richmond eventually became a rich agricultural site, particularly suited to wheat farming. Increasingly popular was sheep and cattle farming, livestock crossed the river at a point south of where the bridge is now. The increased traffic highlighted the need for a road accessible in all-weather through to the east coast, and so a bridge over the river became a necessity.
Constructed of sandstone, the bridge comprises 4 main arches, with smaller arches between and a stone parapet. It is a working road bridge with a limit of 10 tonnes across the two lanes.
Clarence City Council proposed to improve the accessibility of the public domain within the public reserve to the south-west bank of the Coal River. Additionally, their proposal sought to upgrade the existing wharf and address flooding and bank stabilisation of the area immediately surrounding the wharf, removing the concrete block viewing platform between the wharf and bridge abutment. Purcell was commissioned to carry out a Heritage Impact Assessment, considering the detrimental impacts of the proposal.
The Richmond Bridge sits within a rich, cultural heritage landscape and the upgrade of the pedestrian access presented potential impacts to the historic setting and context through the introduction of contemporary materials, designed to current codes and standards. Careful consideration was required to balance the intent of the access improvements through means which would ensure the retention and enhancement of the historic setting.
Our document informed that the proposed DDA Access and associated works adjacent to the Richmond Bridge would not present an impact on the values of the place. The Heritage Impact Assessment directly addressed the bridge and its setting, considering the safety of those travelling around and across, along with other relevant legislation and heritage requirements for the site.