Heidelberg Road, Alphington bridge

In 1842 the Colonial Government utilized unemployed emigrants to construct a ford over the Darebin Creek in Alphington. It lasted only a short time before it was washed away in a flood. Flooding frequently made the Darebin Creek impassable, and in 1848 the Government made a second attempt at solving the problem by building a causeway over the creek. It was about 1.25 metres high and 8 metres wide. It too was washed away in a flood.

A toll gate, established on the east side of the Darebin Creek enabled the Heidelberg Road Trust to build a timber bridge over the creek in 1852. It was located just south of the current bridge. The toll keeper was Henry Holloway, and the charges included one farthing for every pig that crossed the bridge and up to eighteen pence for a carriage with four horses. At a cost of £200 the Heidelberg Road Trust constructed a timber bridge with stone abutments and piers. Due to the poor state of the road over the bridge travellers preferred to use the ford rather than the bridge.

In 1854 a second toll gate was established on the west side of the creek, further inflaming the travellers, now forced to pay twice to cross the creek. With the revenue raised from these tolls a new bridge was constructed in 1867. Located about 50 metres north of the previous bridge, this new bridge was built from bluestone and proved capably of surviving even the worst floods. Although substantially widened, the bridge continues to carry a large volume of traffic across the Darebin Creek.

City of Heidelberg (1934). Heidelberg: the city of streams. Heidelberg (Vic.): Author.