Fairfield Matters with Guy Zangari: Architectural brilliance in our backyard

Fairfield MP Guy Zangari with Shadow Minister for Roads John Graham at the Lansdowne Bridge.
Fairfield MP Guy Zangari with Shadow Minister for Roads John Graham at the Lansdowne Bridge.

In one of my earliest speeches in NSW Parliament in 2011, I delivered a private member's statement highlighting the historical significance of the Lansdowne Bridge, Lansvale. Over the years I have continually fought for and lobbied the NSW Government for much needed restorative works at the heritage listed Lansdowne Bridge to be included in the NSW budget.

As the bridge is 184-years-old, it would be no surprise to anyone that it has deteriorated as it sustained damage over the years as a result of weather, vandals and general use.

Following years of continued advocacy from the Fairfield Electorate Office I am so incredibly proud that we were successful in securing funding for the restoration of our iconic Lansdowne Bridge.

Constructed between 1834-1836 this magnificent structure stands 76-feet above Prospect Creek and its single arch spans 110-feet across the creek from bank to bank. The bridge has been servicing the local community since 1836 when it was officially opened by Governor Bourke on Tuesday, January 26 to mark the 48th anniversary of the foundation of the colony of New South Wales.

This iconic bridge is the largest spanning stone arch bridge surviving in our nation. The Lansdowne Bridge truly is a marvel to be treasured and one that has been recognised as a colonial engineering masterpiece.

Those with an interest in colonial architecture and heritage would recognise the structure as a "Lennox designed bridge" by the Scottish immigrant and stonemason David Lennox. An interesting fact to note is that in order to pay for the bridge when it opened tolls were collected for an eight year period to pay of the works - hopefully the tolls never return.

Many motorists would recognise the Lansdowne Bridge as the old sandstone bridge that passes over Prospect Creek as they're travelling along the Hume Highway from Lansvale heading northbound to Villawood. Others may recognise it in logos adorned by local organisations such as the Southern Districts Soccer Football Association and Fairfield City Council, a fitting tribute to the bridge and its designer.

As the installation of scaffolding has only recently been completed, cleaning and maintenance works are now underway. The meticulous stone masonry restorative works will be undertaken over the coming months which will result in some minor traffic disruptions due to the works.

This is a great win for our community and we can stand proud that our historic Lansdowne Bridge is being restored to its former glory and will continue to service the region for many more years to come.