Whilst in the Victorian High Country we drove to
see the historic McKillops Bridge over the Snowy River in the Deddick Valley,
Snowy River National Park, near the NSW/Victoria border.
And what a spectacular drive it was.
The road is
considered to be one of the most dangerous roads in Australia… it is steep with
sheer drops, narrow with tight bends... not one for the faint hearted.
The deck on McKillops Bridge is 255m (836ft)
long and was initially built in 1933 but 11 days before its opening a flash
flood that exceeded the historical river height washed it away. It was rebuilt
5m higher and officially opened in 1935.
A herd of 700 cattle were used to test the
bridge, to approximate the bridge design load and test for movement, as the
traditionally used steam rollers and traction engines could not be used due to
steep terrain and remote location.
Flash floods still occur along this part of the
river despite the construction of the Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Scheme and
large dams that were built in the mountains to divert water inland.
The Snowy River is one the wildest and most
unpredictable rivers in Australia.