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[FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT.]
DECEMBER 26. -The bridge over the Macquarie Biver, on the main line of road from Sydney to Bathurst, and connecting the counties of Roxburgh and Bathurst, may now be considered to ba completed ; a small por- tion of the ornamental department being all that is re- quired to render it entirely so. A short description of this most useful structure may prove of general inte- rest. The first pile was driven (an account of the ceremony attending which you published at the time) on the first day of this year. It is intended to open the bridge for public traffic on the occasion of the Gover- nor's visit to this district, and to name it, in comme- moration of the first visit of his Excellency, the "Denison Bridge."
Sir William is expected to arrive next Saturday.
The bridge is built of wood, strengthened in parts by iron rods ; it has five arches, so to speak, built upon the suspension principle. The arches at either end are small, having a span of about fifty feet, while, the re- maining space is divided between the other three arches, the centre one being apparently somewhat larger than the two others. There are two distinct lines of roadway, separated by the middle support of the bridge: one for carriages passing eastward, and another for those passing in an opposite direction. No separate provision bas yet been made for foot passen- gers, but I believe it is contemplated to add that ac- commodation at a future time. The roadway is formed of wood, not otherwise covered than with a coating of preparation to resist the action of the weather, mixed with some rough material to give foothold to the horses passing over. The total length of the bridge is about, I should say, 400 feet. The whole building is well defended by strong side rails and balustrades, as well on the outer sides as on the inner line. The three are uniform. The whole of the upper part, above the roadway, is painted of a light colour, and has a very airy appearance. That below the road and under water is covered with tar, &a., and remains of its natural colour, relieving, very much, the appearance of the upper works of the bridge, and giving it a light appearance when viewed from the banks of the river. Returning to the upper works. On a buttress, at either end of the bridge, is raised a lamp, the light from which will serve to show
the divisions of the track at night. The approaches to the bridge, on either side, have been well defended, and led up to, by strong fencing-not the primitive split-post and rail bush stuff, but good, legitimate, strong post and rail, well painted. A very good arrangement has been oontrived to prevent collision. It consists merely in an application of those "rules of the road" which are practically on the road so little
Arriving at the foot of the bridge, from Sydney, a notice is painted on the "sinister" side of the railing in large capital letters, KEEP THIS SIDE, while, for the information of those who cannot de- cipher this intimation (I fear too many), a sign points to the line they are to take. The same being repeated on the opposite side, all danger of collision is avoided. If, further, the old lines in reference to this subject were impressed upon the minds of frequenters of the road, some awkward situations-and I have seen many-might have been avoided. To say nothing of the difficulty, or, maybe, impossibility of recovering damages to property, in a court of law, from having driven on the wrong side, or of the danger to life and limb from collision or otherwise arising from uncer- tainty of which is the right side. To frequenters of the road I would call to mind the following lines written during the last century by, if I remember right,
an Irish divine :
Tho rules of the road are a paradox quite,
In driving your carriage along,
If you take to the left, you are sure to be right,
And if to the right, why you're wrong.
But to return to the bridge. Much credit is due, I think, to all parties concerned in its construction. They have succeeded in producing a neat, but quite unpretending structure, where no time has been wasted in attempt at ornamentation. The inhabitants of this town, as well as travellers generally, will find this bridge a great boon. The frequently swollen state of the river, especially, in winter, rendered its passage, at the " fall" generally difficult, often dangerous. Of the cost of the bridge I know nothing, being in no way connected with the works. I speak as an inhabi- tant of the town, and one of the "public" only.
Very qHiet in election matters. I understand the collection of the electoral lists hu been made, but the lists are not yet exposed.
The late rains have materially injured eome of the wheat crops, near Bathurst ; particularly those which were reaped during the dry weather. The hay also hes been damaged By wet, so much so that, in pu ticuUr case», no attempt hu been made to carry the ?w^=noi_h8ing considered worth the cost, while in -:"4ó'me^p'ucía*it haVSêën reserved u only fit for winter
fodder for cattle. < In the more elevated parta of the district, where the seMon is not so advanced, the late rains hava been ot most essential benefit. I
ha?a myself seen crops, which may be.r'euonably esti- mated u likely to produce 35 and 40 bushels to the acre. I have also seen hay crops (in the late district) producing three to four tons to the aere. This wu in « particular locality. I speak of the county of Bathurst. On the whole I see no reuon to alter my opinion, u previously expressed,, that the; crop of" this ' season will be "far above the average.".
The deputation from tht British and Foreign Bible Society, in the person of the Rev. M. H. Becher, B.A., has been ~ favourably and satisfactorily received throughout the district.
Our church bells are hung ; a gang of ringers is 'being organised. And.we expect to be able to receive his Excellency with a merry peal.
The great festival of Christmas hu been decorously 'kept. Very little indeed of the over indulgence, so usual at this time of the year, hu been visible in our streets. In fact, I may here allude to the very general good order of our town, in thia respeot (u well as others) thanks to the exertions of our worthy P. M. The weather continues very changeable. Temperature throughout this day 64 degrees, with a oold wind. A very heavy storm of rain, accompanied with lightning, pused over the town yesterday. It continued for an hour, deluging the whole place, and taxing the outlets to their utmost, to ' carty off the quantity of water.
Weather still unsettled.