Monday, 11 April 2011

Cowies Creek, Part 2

Downstream to Bluestone Bridge Road and Cowies Creek Railway Bridge No. 1 (Victorian Heritage Register H2240).

As referenced in the previous blog, Cowies Creek Part 1, the creek itself was realigned to allow this railway bridge to be built at a convenient angle. The bridge has a heritage classification and was built in 1860 as part of the Geelong-Ballarat line opened in 1863. It spans both the creek and a roadway, Bluestone Bridge Road.

This section of the railway line is being widened too to allow a second line, and there is still a lot of work to be done (see last picture). Hopefully the creek itself will get some attention after that because it's in a terrible state. Weeds everywhere, especially kikuyu grass. Cowies Creek, for a short section downstream of the bridge, was channelled (in 1860) by basalt training walls and a weir to reduce flow velocity but in January this year the road was closed due to flooding and in the next blog I'll show you where the velocity of the water has scoured the creek bed. Landscaping associated with the Geelong Ring Road abuts this area (see image immediately below) and could easily be extended to the bridge area after the rail works are finished.

The view upstream from the bridge is equally depressing. But some native fauna seem to like living there, judging by the sign on a resident's fence, and there are possibly frogs there as well because the endangered Growling Grass Frog has been found about 100 metres downstream (of which more later) and fish (native and introduced) live further downstream as well.

The view west of Bluestone Bridge Road shows that Cowies Creek valley is now quite deep and wide.

Click on photos to enlarge. be continued

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