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Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Dee Slip Bridge - O'Shannassy Aqueduct Trail

These pix were taken on August 4, 2012.

They show the scenery, environment and features along the Dee Bridge Sector of the O'Shannassy Aqueduct Trail, Warburton, 70 km east of Melbourne.

My 4 km return hike started at the Dee Rd car park and picnic area, crossing the Harrison Creek, then easterly to the Dee Slip Bridge and beyond.

East of the Dee Rd junction is the Dee Slip Bridge. This was restored during 2008, and is the only timber trestle bridge on the system. It was built in 1947 following the collapse of the aqueduct. The force of the flow created a large hole in the side of the embankment beneath the aqueduct, and two separate trestle bridges now support the maintenance track and the aqueduct at this point. A section of the aqueduct immediately adjacent to the bridge collapsed again in 1991, the repairs to the channel are visible.

The replacement channel was fabricated from steel.

It is not commonly known, but the picnic ground and car park occupy an area on which a timber tramway once operated. This tramway carried logs cut down from the area extending from just above the car park and the slopes of Ben Cairn higher up.

It ran from the top of Dee Rd, passing over the Harrison Creek. A rough foot-track starts from the car park and extends into the forest past the Creek. There is little evidence remaining of the original timber cutting, except for some blackened stumps from the 1939 Black Friday bushfires which ravaged this part of the forest.

The tramway transported logs to the mill operated by Kennedy and Munro in the years 1885-1886, which was located below the present-day Aqueduct on the east side of the Dee River. From there, the sawn timber was carried on the Dee Valley Tramway to the railhead at Millgrove.

The Dee Valley Tramway started at Mortimer Brothers' Mill (1903-1910) near the summit of Ben Cairn, and carried timber from various mills.

A mill operated by McKechnie was located just past the end of present day Dee Rd. This operated for some 50 years, from 1919 to 1968, and was on land which is now private freehold property.

See the complete set of Photos of my visit!

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