McFarlane Bridge, Clarence River, Maclean.

From Engineering Heritage New South Wales

Harvey Dare, Public Works engineer, designed this curved track bascule bridge c1900 based on an 18th century scheme by the French engineer-mathematician B F de Belidor.

Dare approximated the correct curve, a cardioid, by six partial circular arcs of varying radii.

The bridge was built by Mountney & Co., Pyrmont, opened on 9 April 1906 and named after the local Member, John McFarlane MLA. Of 8 such bridges built in NSW, this and only two others survive.

These bridges were built on navigable rivers at the height of the river-coastal shipping trades which were the only highways for many rural communities.

EHS Mcfarlane Bridge Photograph 1.JPG


Coordinates 29°27′54″S 153°11′48″E

EHS Mcfarlane Bridge Photograph 2.JPG


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Engineering Heritage Recognition Program

Marker Type Historic Engineering Marker (HEM)
Award Date 9 April 2006
Prominent People Bernard Forest de Belidor, Henry Harvey Dare
Nomination Document Available here
Ceremony Report See Nomination
Interpretation Panel As photo attached
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