Rooneys Bridge

Artefacts found at Rooneys Bridge – Townsville

Artefacts found at Rooneys Bridge were uncovered recently while TMR were upgrading the bridge in Railway Estate, Townsville!

Rooneys Bridge is a crucial link between Townsville’s central business district and southern suburbs. It was built back to 1953—but we weren’t expecting to uncover a historic find like this one!

Artefacts found were steam engines that used to power the cranes lifting timber from boats, which travelled up Ross Creek to the Rooney Brothers sawmill.


To learn more about the discovery, visit:

You can also read more about the project here

This project is jointly funded by the Australian Government (AusGov Infrastructure) and the Queensland Government basis under the Bridges Renewal Program.

Rooneys Bridge history

A long awaited bridge that connected the suburbs of Oonoonba and Railway Estate opened in Townsville with the usual ribbon-cutting fanfare in December 1954 and was duly named in honour of a pioneering Townsville family – the Rooney family.

The proposal for the bridge was first put forward in the 1930s, and a loan was approved by the Treasury Department in 1939, but the Second World War interrupted any plans to start work on the bridge and the project was placed on hold.

It was originally planned to construct the bridge of concrete and timber, but shortages of materials after the war prompted the Council to consider constructing the bridge from steel.

Unfortunately, when it came time to make a start on the bridge in 1949, no girder steel could be obtained in Australia and the Council reluctantly had to resort to importing the steel from Britain. The steel for the bridge did not arrive until late 1952.

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