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Unbuilt Monier Arch Projects, page 2.

Grant St, Ballarat: Monier Arch Tender.
over the channelised Yarrowee Creek.

Longitudinal half-section, half-elevation. The bridge has spandrels and earth fill. There is a visually heavy balustrade. The abutment blocks sit on piles.

Image: J. Thomas Collection.


The M&A files hold a large amount of material concerning this project - as much as is available for many built projects - and it provides an interesting picture of the difficulties of introducing the new technology, Monash's attempts to overcome them, and the magnitude of the resistance he encountered. At the time, Ballarat consisted of two municipalities divided by the Yarrowee Creek which had formerly been Ballarat West and Ballarat East, but were now the City of Ballarat and the Town of Ballarat respectively. The old name continued to be used for the latter. As the story opens the two councils were contemplating a major scheme worth some £25,000 to extend the channelisation of the Creek. The project included replacement of the bridge carrying Grant Street over the channel.

Withers, W. B. The history of Ballarat, Niven, Ballarat, 2nd edn 1887, p.239. (Facsimile edn, Queensberry Hill Press, Carlton, Vic. 1980.)

Ballarat possessed iron foundries and a brick industry. Nearby quarries produced the hard basalt known as 'bluestone'. It was natural to assume that the new channel would have a bluestone floor and brick walls, while the bridge would consist of iron girders or trusses resting on brick piers, which might have a bluestone facing. Monash and Anderson were in direct competition with local industrial interests. The City Surveyor Arthur Farrer shared the suspicion of many municipal engineers towards the concept of reinforced concrete, its reputation damaged by poor work in the early stages of development. He might also have had personal reasons for opposition, as it was normally a municipal engineer's task to prepare a design for a conventional bridge. M&A, with their patent form of construction, deprived such men of the satisfaction of seeing their own designs built and, in some cases, of commissions they would have been paid for the work.

The City Surveyor's name was spelled Farrar in the Municipal Directory of Victoria, both in its entry for Ballarat City and in its list of qualified engineers and surveyors. If this was incorrect, he was not concerned about it, for the spelling was retained at least from 1901 to 1907. JTNA favoured 'Farrar', while JM used 'Farrer', but the City Surveyor clearly signed his name with a final 'er' and that spelling has been adopted here.

It had been agreed that the City should effectively administer the projects. This may have been because the councillors of the Town had little faith in their own Engineer, W. Robertson. (According to JTNA they treated him "as a clerk of works".) Robertson felt some animosity towards Farrer, and M&A found him a willing ally. Another friend was B. H. Gummow, a resident of Ballarat and brother of F. M. Gummow. Correspondence shows that BHG had an office in the City, so was perhaps a businessman or professional.

The first mention of a bridge project in the M&A records is in July 1899 when Farrer supplied a profile of the creek and rainfall data to JTNA, who prepared a rough design and an estimate of £1937. This was possibly before the idea of lining the channel had been mooted. Farrer objected that piled foundations would be needed and was concerned that the springings of the arch would be below flood level. Although he told M&A that they could submit an alternative tender, nothing more is recorded of this initiative.

In August 1900 M&A reminded Farrer of the proposal, saying if necessary they could do the job much cheaper than their first quotation. By November they were aware that Farrer had completed a design for a steel bridge, and the political contest began to warm up. In this month JTNA made contact with Robertson and first described B. H. Gummow as "our representative" in Ballarat. Robertson and his mayor went to Bendigo at M&A's invitation to observe Monier work in progress, and an article on the technique was published in the Ballarat Star. However, Farrer raised a question concerning the spandrel walls at Wheeler's Bridge near Creswick, which had given trouble soon after M&A completed it. Portions had been replaced, and there were rumours (apparently incorrect) that there was further trouble. Undaunted, JTNA now started lobbying for the use of Monier construction for the channel lining and BHG arranged for lobbying through one of the councillors.

However, by December 1900, JTNA had decided that Farrer was firmly opposed to Monier construction - though unwilling to show it - and that the majority of Ballarat East councillors were of the same opinion. By March 1901, M&A's lobbying had members of parliament questioning the chief of the Public Works Department, W. Davidson, about the issue. The latter told JTNA that he favoured Monier, but "must have regard to Ballarat prejudices re bluestone and local labour". Intensive lobbying of councillors continued, including the organisation of a visit to Wheeler's Bridge. This had mixed success as an exercise in public relations. The Evening News reported guests were greatly disappointed with the hospitality offered by M&A, alleging that only ginger beer had been provided as refreshment. M&A were not pleased, but wrote to BHG that they could hardly now be accused of bribery and corruption.

Early in May 1901, M&A prepared a "sketch design" for the bridge based on full computations, which they sent to Farrer, with a copy to Robertson. Progress appeared to have been made when the councillors ordered Farrer to familiarise himself with Monier construction. However on 14 May disaster struck when M&A's newly-built King's Bridge in Bendigo collapsed under test, killing one man. At the inquest, Professor Kernot of the University of Melbourne argued convincingly that failure was due to the high degree of skew of this particular bridge, which had resulted in stresses four or five times those predicted by accepted theory. Opponents of the system were not convinced. The following month they seized on an incorrect report that a Monier bridge had failed at Buckie in Scotland, and on the collapse of the Wade St bridge in Bendigo when flood waters undermined the supports of the green arch the day after it had been cast. In October the test of M&A's large bridge at High St, Bendigo was a success, but opponents argued the test procedure was deficient. M&A then learned that Monier was not to be used in the Yarrowee channel. This was a major blow, as a contract of that size would have assured the fortunes of the company which had been desperate for some time.

In February 1902, events appeared more promising. The councillors voted that alternative tenders be called for the bridge and, with Farrer, accepted an invitation to observe work at Bendigo. In mid April Farrer made a formal request to M&A to provide him with a Monier design. However he demanded a high but unspecified quality of architectural treatment. Monash asked for clarification and in the meantime went ahead with design. At length Farrer replied that he had expressed himself adequately and could not be more specific. In May Monash met him to discuss detail, having invested a great deal of effort in the drawing office and in visits to Ballarat. At this stage JTNA, influenced by the poor state of the firm's finances, left to take up a salaried position in New Zealand.

The intention was for JTNA to continue to function in the partnership in addition to opening up possibilities for Monier in New Zealand. This did not eventuate. His new employer objected when he took on consulting work for others. Also, previous attempts (by others) to introduce reinforced concrete to NZ made it impossible to take advantage of the Monier patent.

In June 1902, Monash sent drawings to Gummow and Robertson on the quiet, showing an elaborate design for a bridge with a span of 50 feet (15.3m) and a rise of 6 feet (see the end of this Section). The pair began a further lobby of councillors. When this had produced no effect by late July, Monash asked BHG to investigate. "We do not fear open competition", he remarked, "but we do fear sinister influences which may be at work without our knowledge". Still unaware of the nature of the opposition Monash wrote: "Farrer is always non-committal, and has shown no hostility - I think he is well disposed to us." In Melbourne, he set about lobbying the higher levels of the PWD.

Again there was no result, and in October 1902 a report in the Melbourne Age suggested that an iron bridge was favoured, with each council contributing £1200. Work on the channel walls was being carried past the bridge site in a way which would interfere with construction of abutments for a Monier arch. Monash wrote to the Town Clerk asking to be allowed to submit an alternative tender, pointing out that this had been formally authorised and that M&A had invested much effort in the project, supplying Farrer with a Monier design at his request and making the many modifications he demanded. The Monier alternative would save the council £400 to £500. The Town Clerk obviously sympathised with Monash, informing him in a private letter that Farrer had opposed Monier on the grounds that the foundations were treacherous and unsuitable for the arch. He noted "There is no doubt Farrer is prejudiced against Monier, but many councillors are for it."

At this point there is a gap in the record until April 1903 when Monash, finally convinced of the depth of Farrer's opposition, decided to join with the Ballarat iron fabricator Cowley, and enter a tender for the construction of Farrer's steel design. Farrer continued to demand modifications in the Monier version, including "changes to the masonry spandrels which are to be in an axed finish instead of rock-faced". On 9 May 1903 tenders were finally called. On 18th, Monash wrote to Robertson that he had seen Farrer's steel design and

It is about as meagre, ugly and paltry a looking thing as you could imagine. There is not a vestige of architectural beauty in the design and everything is cut down to the barest limit of safety. I was distinctly told that the City & Town were desirous of a handsome bridge and about £2000 was named as the price they would go to … He quietly waited until he got my design … and then cut down his ideas all over, in his effort to cut below the Monier design. The result is a very unlovely and doubtful design. Those main girders are too light for such a span, and too far apart, and as for the lattice girder, it is hideous and there is little to stiffen it from constant vibration. I feel pretty sore over this, as it is in no sense a fair competition.

Robertson agreed about Farrer's attitude and noted that the latter had delayed releasing his plans to the Ballarat East council. Robertson suggested Monash put in two Monier designs, one to Farrer's exacting demands for architectural treatment and one a utilitarian, economical design. While finalising these proposals Monash responded to criticism from Farrer about the flatness of the arch, and Farrer's insertion of new provisions in M&A's specification which Monash considered deleterious. Having recently taught himself the necessary theory from French and German texts, he was able to include in his proposals a completely new version utilising reinforced concrete T-girders.

It was the custom for M&A, offering a design-and-build service, to prepare a draft specification as well as the drawings for a project. The municipal engineer was able to demand modifications to this document in negotiations before and after receipt of the tender.

The prices were:

Steel girders£1820
Monier design A. Arch with ornamentation demanded by Farrer1720
Monier design B. Arch without ornamentation1520
Monier design C. Monier T girders and Monier deck instead of arch1400

Gummow managed to place a positive report on Monier construction in the Ballarat Star, but it was no use. On 10 June 1903, on his return from Ballarat after lodging the tender, Monash learned that his bid had been unsuccessful.

It must be noted that the account given here depends entirely on the M&A files and represents their point of view of the matter. The Ballarat newspapers have not been researched to obtain an impression of the local viewpoint, and no attempt has been made to track down official council records, or any that might have been left by Farrer.


1899/04/19: JTNA to Farrer. Includes fact that JTNA's favourite authorities on general drainage and sanitary questions are Baldwin Latham, and Waring.

1899/07/03: Farrer to M&A, sending a profile of the creek and the old timber bridge. The arch must not restrict the waterway or raise the level of the water. The estimate is needed by Thursday as the Councils sit together on Friday to consider proposals.

1899/07/03: Drawing. Ink on linen. Plan and longitudinal section of the existing bridge and profile of the creek bed.

1899/07/03: Rainfall diagrams for Ceres, Learmonth.

1899/07/04: JTNA to Farrer. Thank you for the rainfall diagram and details for the Yarrowee Creek Bridge at Grant St. "I am making out a Monier estimate for the latter …"

1899/07/05: JTNA to Farrer [crossed "not sent"] Initial proposals. The average pressure on the foundations is only 1 ton/sq ft. and were it not that you seemed to think piling necessary I should have omitted this item. Please keep the schedule private.

1899/07/05: M&A to Farrer. Rough estimate. "We find the bridge is 15ft wider than you mentioned to our Mr Anderson, and consequently cannot be carried out for the sum previously estimated." However the price quoted will provide "a very sound and handsome job". If the price is more than Farrer can afford, M&A will be happy to enter an alternative tender against the Engineer's design as was done at Anderson St, Fyansford and Birch's Creek.. M&A is willing also to subcontract for Monier work to a general contractor.

"Birch's Creek" refers to the bridge that M&A normally called "Wheelers Bridge".

1899/07/05: Schedule for Grant St:

Monier : 
remove old bridge40-00-00
roadway (surfacing)41-16-00
lighting, laying mains, ornament   50-00-00
total  £1936-16-00

1899/07/08: Farrer to M&A. Your estimates of the Grant St Bridge came to hand and they will be considered with other designs. The arch unfortunately comes rather much into the water at the abutments.

1899/07/10: M&A to Farrer. Re Farrer's concern that the arch is too low, M&A suggest raising it 3 feet. Farrer would need to grade the approaches at 1 in 20. Then the central 55 feet would be above the flood level shown by Farrer. If the arch were simply made flatter it would have to be tied with iron rods and this would add £200. An alternative would be to have two spans, but a central pier in the waterway is undesirable in any type of bridge.

1899/11/22: Robertson to JTNA re the proposed visit by Robertson and hopefully Mayor Pearse to Bendigo.

1900/08/17: M&A to Farrer, City Surveyor, Ballaarat. Re the replacement of the bridge Farrer showed JTNA. M&A can do it - and much cheaper than the figure JTNA quoted.

M&A retained the former spelling of Ballarat.

1900/11/16: JTNA to Farrer. JTNA asks for a meeting next Tuesday.

1900/11/16: JTNA to J. Heinz (City Councillor). "In August of last year Mr Farrer supplied us with particulars of the Grant St Bridge, and with our Mr Anderson made a survey of it …" Farrer promised the opportunity of an alternative tender. M&A understand Farrer has now completed his steel design and JTNA is asking Farrer to meet him. JTNA hopes to see Heinz then.

1900/11/16: M&A to Robertson. "We understand from Mr Taylor, that your Council contribute half of the cost of the bridge, and as we understand that Mr Farrer has not up to now laid this Monier proposal before you, we hope to call with him and explain our system in detail to you."

1900/11/17: Robertson to M&A. Yrs of 16th re the arrangement with Mr Farrer concerning the bridge. My Council is not aware of what has been done in the matter. Anyway, I would be delighted to meet Mr Anderson with the trap and take him anywhere in the City or Town. We would be delighted if Mr Anderson would honour us with his presence at the Annual Dinner at the Public Library at 1 pm Tuesday next subsequent to the Annual Statutory Meeting.

1900/11/17: Farrer to M&A. Yrs of 11th. I shall be glad to see JTNA on Tuesday. From your letter it would appear that alternative tenders have been agreed on - which of course is not the case. This will create friction with the Town authorities as they will think they have not been consulted. Please make that clear to them.

1900/11/19: JM? to JTNA (Charlotte Plains, Moolort). Telegram. Farrer says 12.30 Tuesday. Have posted you his letter.

1900/11/20: JTNA (Braeside) to JM. Robertson will go Friday to Bendigo to see Oak St turned.

1900/11/20?: JTNA to JM. Dear Monash. I spent a useful day in Ballarat. Gummow's brother is our agent there and will doubtless secure us the bridge when it comes off. Meanwhile we have a lot to do to remove the bad effects of rumours re Wheeler's Bridge. However it will be quite three months before tenders can be called, so we need not bustle much at present. Meanwhile I think I have steadied Farrer a little, and there is no doubt but that he will support the alternative tender scheme to which in fact he virtually committed himself last year. Old Robertson at Ballarat East is Farrer's little enemy and he will probably go for Monier only. 'Anyhow' I have arranged that Robertson comes up to Bendigo on Thursday … and will stop over Friday to see Oak Street arch being turned.

1900/11/23: JM diary: "All day at Golden Square - turn Monier arch. Robertson + Pearse"

1900/11/26: Age. Cr Pierce (mayor) and Robertson of Ballarat East visit the Bendigo bridge sites.

1900/11/26: Bendigo Advertiser. Ditto.

1900/11/26: JTNA to BHG, Ballarat. JTNA is sorry he is late in sending particulars re Grant St. Robertson and his Mayor visited Bendigo on Saturday. Were they impressed? "I am going up to see Catani re the Government subsidy for the Yarrowee Creek [illegible] tomorrow, but I understand it does not include any provision for the bridge." The Councils hope the channel walls will be strong enough to serve as abutments. JTNA is trying to get the walls in Monier.

1900/11/28: Ballarat Star. "The Monier system …" is likely to be adopted in Ballarat East.

1900/11/28: BHG to JTNA with thanks for the list of Monier works. BHG will use it in the direction agreed on. He saw Robertson on the latter's return from Bendigo. Robertson is a "convert to the Monier". BHG also sends a paragraph from that morning's Star. All is going well and BHG will keep the ball rolling.

1900/11/30: JTNA to Farrer. "…I have thoroughly investigated the condition of the spandril walls at Fyansford, and am pleased to say that there has been no such movement as you reported. I was under the impression that you had said you had yourself seen it, but as this cannot be, I would be much obliged if you could inform me who your informant was, that I may be able to find out who our slanderous friend may be."

In April 1900, a month after Wheeler's Bridge was opened, the Shire Engineer W. H. Gore reported movement of the spandrel walls. During the months of October and November, M&A rebuilt the worst-affected portions, but Gore felt not enough had been done and was unhappy with the quality of the final rendering. The work would have been completed one month before Farrer's criticism. Some years later measures were taken to counter similar movement at Fyansford. Outward movement of spandrel walls due to pressure from the earth fill was a constant problem with traditional stone masonry arch bridges, and it seems to have been inherited by the Monier variety.

1900/11/30: JTNA to BHG, thanking him for the cutting from the Star and his continuing warm interest on M&A's behalf. JTNA discusses the possibility of using Monier in the Yarrowee Channel. (The Government is advancing £25,000 to Catani). Following BHG's suggestion JTNA wrote to Mr B. Deakin.

M&A hoped to persuade the PWD and the two Councils to use Monier construction (possibly in the form of precast plates) to line the sides of the channel.

1900/12/05: BHG to JTNA re the Yarrowee Channel. JTNA should prepare a proposal showing the advantages of Monier construction over [unreinforced] concrete and if possible an estimate showing it to be cheaper. "I will hand this Robertson (and he promises to place it before his Council and get it if possible embraced in his plans. Mr Shoppee will try and work the City Council and Surveyor when I give him also details. As a [trade?] off to oblige Robertson (who is afraid the City plans only will be sent the Public Works Dept) you could see and get Catani to write (when the City plans are sent down) to the Town of Ballarat East asking to see their plans etc (which will suggest Monier). It will cut both ways - pleasing Robertson and giving Catani an opportunity of agreeing to Monier in the training walls as suggested in the Ballarat East plans - even if the City stick to concrete. But I think we can work Farrar. If not will get you up. Nothing new yet about the Grant Street Bridge."

Correspondence re the channel lining is included here to demonstrate the general environment in which lobbying for the bridge contract took place.

1900/12/10: JTNA to BHG. Re the Yarrowee Channel, the journals he gets suggest the cost of Monier would be half that of stone, and thus 20% or 30% less than [unreinforced] concrete. In the meantime, "I shall keep Catani reminded that we have such a proposal and will try to work the oracle in the way you hint, so that Robertson's designs and proposals may go into the PWD."

1900/12/13: BHG to M&A. Re the Yarrowee Channel, enclosing a newspaper cutting showing that Farrer has just sent plans to the PWD. "As soon as you can give Robertson particulars of Monier walls he will embrace it and then you must get Catani to ask for any plans prepared by the Ballarat East Council. I will see Shoppee (soon as you can give details of cost etc) so that he may bring the matter up in City Council." JTNA's coming up on Tuesday is a good idea and should complete and clinch the matter for he can see both Robertson and Farrer. "P.S. I will be in my office on Tuesday and wait for you."

1900/12/13: Robertson to JTNA. Re JTNA's of 11th. Robertson will be happy to meet JTNA re using Monier plates to line the Yarrowee Channel. He is sure they will be better than brick etc. He has a question for JTNA re expansion of channel walls - though he knows their curvature will make a difference.

1900/12/14: JTNA to Taylor re arranging to go up and see Robertson on Tuesday next re the Yarrowee Channel walls.

1900/12/15: Taylor to JTNA. He will go to Ballarat on Tuesday and will meet at Mr Gummow's office.

1900/12/19: JTNA (Charlotte Plains) to JM. "I found that the Ballarat East people are more or less repentant at having given away their right of sharing in the engineering [of] the Yarrowee improvements and Robertson said that the only reason they did so was that they could not refute his hydraulic calculations. I am working to get them to withdraw their consent. It is not an easy task, but Gummow has promised to work the papers, and in this morning's Star he promised to have an article censuring them for undue haste. Davidson has I believe promised to visit the ground, and the probability is that Farrer's scheme will be revised - then comes in the chance of the Ballarat East getting the opportunity to reconsider and withdraw from their position. Meanwhile they have a special meeting to day (since any later would mean a month's delay) - and at the request of Mr Robertson I promised Mr Fraser the town clerk to be present …. from what Taylor assures me, and Gummow's private information I have reluctantly concluded that Farrer's extreme cordiality towards me, is only because after the help I gave him in the past, he cannot decently tell me what he thinks and says about Monier, and yesterday, I called on him and missed seeing him, and he came up out of breath to overtake me at the Station. I told him of my proposal to use Monier training walls and he said that he had got his design approved by the Department - when I told him that Catani said he objected to his Hill Street Bridge crossing - he showed ignorance and I said that his council would not approve of any alteration at that Bridge."

1900/12/20: JTNA to JM. "At Ballarat yesterday I succeeded in getting the Ballarat East Works Committee to pass a resolution recommending the proposal that Monier alternative tenders be called for the Channel Walls. I have all that committee as enthusiastic advocates. But I can see clearly that Farrer has more influence with some of Robertson's Councillors than Robertson has, and consequently that the real trouble will be to get the Ballarat City Council. In [spite of?] this however Gummow professes 'confidence' and promises the most efficient assistance. He got a letter into the Ballarat Star which I doubt not helped us yesterday."

1900/12/27: JTNA to Robertson, giving the results of JTNA's calculations on the discharge of the Yarrowee Channel using Kutter's formula.

1900/12/21: JTNA to Taylor. He has talked to the Works Committee at Ballarat and they will recommend Monier plates be included in the estimates to allow alternative tendering. "I do not consider however that this is any more than the first step, as our friend, Mr Robertson, is only treated by even his own Councillors, as a clerk of works, we will not be able to do anything until we get some sort of a pull on Farrer. The only way I can think of at present, is by an energetic canvas of the Councillors of the City."

1901/01/02: Taylor to JTNA, saying he will call on Finlayson in Ballarat. He is one of the councillors - a strong man - and if he can see a saving in Monier he will push it for all it is worth - he carries considerable influence in the council.

1901/02/27: JTNA to Farrer. Is there any news about the bridge?

1901/03/13: JTNA to BHG. JTNA cannot find out what is going on at Ballarat re the Yarrowee Channel. He wrote to Farrer on 27th but has had no reply. Perhaps this is a good sign. He would like to follow this up by a visit, but "… we agreed that too much canvassing of the position on my part was not advisable". He does not want it to seem that M&A are at all anxious, but they are willing to follow up BHG's "canvas" with "energetic action". Apparently the cost of the [unreinforced] concrete design exceeds the government grant.

1901/03/15: JTNA to BHG. (Confidential.) JTNA has had a chat to Davidson who said he had been interviewed by Members of Parliament about the use of Monier for the Yarrowee Channel. "I presume this was the result of your canvassing in the matter." "He however said that the local feeling against the use of anything which would reduce the quantity of material and labour to be used was so strong that Monier had no chance." However, Davidson does not want M&A to think him hostile just because he does not directly advocate Monier.

1901/03/18: JTNA to BHG. Catani told JTNA that if all designs are reasonable he has no power to intervene. JTNA [already] knew Davidson was favourable to M&A's proposal but must have regard to Ballarat prejudices re bluestone and local labour. Davidson had not told JTNA that he had gone so far as to suggest Monier. It is good to know Davidson favours Monier for the Grant St Bridge.

1901/03/19: Ballarat Courier. "Much discussion has taken place between the City and Town councils, their engineers and the officers of the Public Works Department from time to time in reference to the improvements to be carried out at the Yarrowee Channel … The distance from the terminal point of the present stonework in Grenville street to the Woollen Factory is 82 chains. (The reference was probably to a chain of 66 feet, i.e. 20.1m.) The work proposed to be done by the councils is to construct the bed with stone-work and the sides with brick, with stone coping similar to the formation south of Bridge street. Inspector-general Davidson, of the Public Works Department, who visited the creek two years ago, urged the doing of the work in concrete - rough concrete rubble for the bed of the creek and concrete walls for the sides. He considered solid bluestone work too expensive, and strongly favored concrete. Subsequently the Monier system - steel plates and rods interlaced with concrete - was brought under the councils' attention. This system is now being largely used for bridge-constructing and for culverts and drains, and is approved by the Public Works and other Government departments. It was considered that if the bottom of the creek was constructed of stonework and the sides of Monier work a good job would have been done, and at a very large reduction in the cost - about £6000. The Public Works Department signified its approval of the Monier walls, but the councils would not entertain the new concrete system."

1901/03/20: BHG to JTNA re Grant St Bridge. The question came up at a joint sitting of City and Town councils last night. Both engineers and certain councillors were in favour of Monier, others in favour of steel. BHG is hopeful, but suggests JTNA come up as soon as possible so they might together interview councillors and ask the Mayors if they want to go to Creswick Bridge [Wheeler's]. This would "clinch" matters satisfactory to M&A.

1901/03/28: JTNA to BHG. Re yours of 26th, re Grant St Bridge. JTNA is pleased "we" have made such progress. He will carry out BHG's suggestion and come to Ballarat. Will Thursday 4th be suitable?

1901/04/01: BHG to JTNA. Thursday next will be suitable to "go round the councillors" with JTNA.

1901/04/02: Farrer to JTNA. It is likely that the abutments for the Grant St Bridge will be discussed by the Joint Councils on 15th. If M&A still think of trying for the Monier work Farrer would like to see JTNA before then. "Kindly regard this as unofficial and private."

1901/04/06: JTNA to Robertson. Councillor Middleton of the City has told JTNA that the Ballarat East Councillors are so strongly opposed to Monier that the City Councillors will not dare to oppose them.

1901/04/11: M&A to Farrer, asking him to allow for possible Monier abutments for Grant St Bridge in the design of the channel walls.

1901/04/14: JM to BHG. It does not matter technically what Farrer does with the walls at Grant St because anything can be incorporated into a Monier arch abutment. [JM includes a sketch showing how this could be done.] The issue is "moral" because if abutments for a steel girder bridge are put in "they" can use that as a lever for demanding a girder bridge.

1901/04/15: Ballarat Courier. "Bridge Building at Creswick." A lengthy article re the visit of Ballarat councillors to Wheeler's bridge.

1901/04/15: Evening Echo. The councillors were greatly disappointed with the hospitality at Creswick.

1901/04/16: Creswick Advertiser. Ballarat Councillors inspect Wheeler's and Davies Bridges. This article refers to the Evening Echo report relating Councillors' disappointment at the repast offered.

1901/04/16: Creswick Advertiser. A verbatim quote of the Echo article and a reply in defence.

1901/04/16: Argus. Report of the visit.

1901/04/16: BHG to M&A re Grant St, saying he has received the copy of the Ironmonger and JM's letter and has made use of them. The Joint Meeting of councils decided that Robertson and Farrer should put in a joint report on Monier bridges. Alternative tenders were favoured. The situation is very promising. But it will be some time before action occurs, as the councils first want to see the Channel well under way. Professor Kernot's article will appear in the local papers in a day or two. P.S. - Farrer is much more favourable than Monash is inclined to believe.

1901/04/17: Discharge calculations showing that while the full channel has a capacity 6316 cubic feet, the waterway beneath an arch would have a capacity of only 4898 c.ft.

1901/04/17: M&A to BHG. Thank you for yours of 16th re Grant St and the cutting from the Ballarat paper. "Did you notice the scurrilous rub which the 'Evening News' gave us as to supplying the Councillors with only 'Ginger Beer'? In the face of this we are secured from any charge of bribery and corruption, at any rate!" Sincere thanks for all BHG's efforts and "skilful control of negotiations". Our services are entirely at your disposal if we can do anything in return.

1901/04/19: Rough structural calculations by JSG.

1901/04/22: Evening Echo. "A recent outing." Regarding its account of the visit of Ballarat councillors to Creswick.

1901/04/25: Calculations. Three quarto pages, one initialled JSG.

1901/04/30: M&A to GF&Co. Your congratulations re Grant St are premature. The Councillors have not yet committed themselves.

1901/05/01: Drawing. "Grant St Bridge. Stress Diagrams and Waterway Computations." Initialled JSG.

1901/05/01: M&A to Farrer. Following their conversation during the Creswick visit, M&A hope it will promote the adoption of Monier to send a sketch design. They suggest a 50 ft arch, with a rise of 6 ft. Included on the enclosed drawing are a comparison of the waterways and a diagram and lines of resistance to determine the form of the arch, also the resultant thrusts upon and in the abutment, and the pressures at the base. This is "to make it an easy task" for Farrer to check himself. He will see that the factor of safety is about 10 to 1, even ignoring the steel reinforcement. Also, the average pressure on the foundations is 25 cwt/ft2. M&A argue that steel girders [as intended by Farrer] would block the water to a depth of 5 ft below the crown of the road over the full span, whereas the arch hardly encroaches below this level and leaves some space above it. Big savings can be made compared with steel if the Monier version is designed to equal architectural standards. (M&A note they still have not received the profile of the channel from Farrer.)

1901/05/01: M&A to Robertson, enclosing a blueprint. "Of course we have never yet been supplied with an accurate section of this creek" so the design is not absolutely final.

1901/05/01: M&A to BHG. "In order to push the Grant Street question forward another stage, we have prepared a complete design … as nearly as possible to the requirements of Mr Farrer as roughly indicated by him during our expedition to Creswick." M&A enclose three blueprints to distribute "judiciously, among those Councillors who are our friends" but advise Robertson to give Farrer a few days to study the drawing first. M&A are sure they can build this for £500 less than any steel bridge. The waterway is better, because girders will absolutely block the waterway some 3 ft lower than the soffit of the M&A arch. The calculations will show Farrer that M&A's factor of safety is about twice that usual in steel bridges.

1901/05/02: Draft estimate of cost for the arch bridge.

1901/05/02: JTNA to JM, saying he saw Farrer last night. Council has instructed Farrer to obtain "familiar acquaintance with Monier methods by a visit to Bendigo".

1901/05/14: Failure under test of King's Bridge, Bendigo.

1901/08/05: JTNA to Farrer, inviting him to the turning of a portion of the High St arch in Bendigo on Wednesday 7th.

1901/08/20: M&A to Farrer. They hope to turn [another portion of the] arch at High St next Tuesday or Wednesday, and the Wade St arch about a fortnight after.

1901/09/09: Farrer to M&A. When do you turn the next Monier arch at Bendigo?

1901/09/09: M&A to Farrer, enclosing a copy of a report on the Buckie Bridge failure from the Builder.

Opponents of M&A and the Monier system seized on this report of the failure of a "Monier" bridge in Scotland. M&A's enquiries showed that the main arches of the Buckie bridge were of brick masonry and that a localised failure had occurred in small masonry jack arches which had a concrete topping.

1901/09/09: M&A to Robertson re the Buckie Bridge failure.

1901/09/13: JTNA to Farrer. The Wade St arch (Bendigo) will be turned next Tuesday.

1901/09/17: JTNA (Bendigo) to Major Monash. Telegram. Wade Monier completed - poor prospects of progress and miserable payment. Farrer satisfied.

1901/09/20: JTNA to Farrer, re Wade St. It was a risk we had to take, and the contractor has to be his own insurer. There had been no such flood in the year that M&A had been in Bendigo, so the risk was not more than 1 in 365.

The day after the Wade St arch was cast, a flood undermined its temporary timber supports causing the formwork to sag. The concrete had not yet gained sufficient strength to support itself and the new arch was destroyed. This was seen by opponents as a further case of "failure" of the Monier system.

1901/10/04: M&A to Farrer. Re the High St test. "A great deal of public interest was displayed in Bendigo in regard to this bridge, and under pressure from the opponents of the Monier principle, the heaviest possible test was insisted upon … The Council employed a 15 ton steam roller, a 15 ton traction engine and a heavy wagon loaded with 14 tons of steel stamper rods. The wagon and steam roller were several times hauled over the bridge singly, the maximum deflections observed being 1/50th of an inch. The traction engine then hauled over the roller and wagon, coupled together behind each other … this load was left on the bridge for 10 minutes … the maximum deflection observed being 1/10 of an inch. The deflections were wholly due to vibration, and at the completion of the test all five deflectometers were carefully read and showed no sign of permanent set whatever."

1901/10/04: M&A to Robertson re the High St test.

1901/10/15: BHG to M&A re the Yarrowee Channel. £25,000 is to be spent but there is to be no Monier, even though Davidson suggested it. Farrer's design was accepted by the Councils. M&A could go to Catani to get the decision altered, but might be politic not to fight Farrer because both engineers are in favour of Monier for the Grant St Bridge. "It is almost certain you will get it (2500) but work smoothly with Farrer and Robertson."

1902/02/08: Farrer to M&A. A committee will consider Grant St Bridge on Monday evening.

1902/02/10: JTNA to Farrer. Many thanks. Am coming up by the express today.

1902/02/11: Ballarat Courier. A long article re the "Yarrowee Creek Improvements" and the Grant St Bridge project. Elsewhere, a brief mention that at the joint meeting it was decided to call tenders in steel and Monier for Grant St.

1902/02/11: Ballarat Star. A long article headed "The Grant St Bridge".

1902/02/11: BHG to M&A, saying he is sorry he did not see JTNA last evening. Mr Shoppee however saved the situation and alternative tenders will be called. The Councils want to use some of the Channel grant for the abutments for the Grant Street Bridge. If M&A can get Davidson to say "yes" on condition a Monier bridge is built, success will be assured. On Friday 21st February the Councils will go to Bendigo. "If you could only be there and meet them and show them around I believe you would win hands down. The disaster was bad but has now blown over. Still it wants a little working, and if you only get your foot in here it may lead to good business later."

1902/02/12: M&A to Farrer. Kindly wire what time you and the Councillors reach Bendigo on Friday.

1902/02/19: Farrer to M&A. Arriving Bendigo 1pm Friday next.

1902/03/24: M&A to Farrer. Following the report in the Ballarat Courier of 11th ult, M&A ask for details of the Grant St site.

1902/03/24: List of data required from Farrer.

1902/03/28: Ballarat Star. The Yarrowee Works Committee is to close the old bridge at Grant St.

1902/04/15: Farrer to M&A. The combined committee has told him to obtain a Monier design. He sends tracings of the existing bridge and precise details of loads and roller dimensions. "I assume that the bridge architecturally will have such relief in its various parts as will indicate the strength and solidity of the structure in a bold manner and on the lines of good masonry arches. The amount of work to be done on the material will depend on the design. Though the bridge is not in the main street I assume that the finish will require to be equal to an average important town bridge."

1902/04/16: M&A to Farrer. (Private and Unofficial.) Your official letter gave only a vague indication of the architectural requirements. Since this is a matter of taste, could you give a clearer idea, to which we will not commit you.

1902/04/16: M&A to Farrer. Thanks for yours of 15th, giving information re Grant St. We will get on with design.

1902/04/16: Calculations for the effects of moving loads.

1902/04/20: Drawing. Half-side-elevation and half-longitudinal-section. Quarter-plan from above, quarter-plan over bare arch, quarter-plan at springing level. Detailed cross-section, detailed half side elevation showing architectural treatment of spandrel, quarter-plan of parapet. This shows abutments in the form of a counterforted wall on a spread footing. (There are no piles.) Initialled JSG.

1902/04/21: JM diary: Working in office chiefly on Grant St. [This was the 8-hour day holiday.]

1902/04/25: Farrer to M&A. On re-reading his of 15th, Farrer is "unable to make my meaning more clear in regard to the architectural part of the bridge, unless I were to design in detail." Possibly they can consider this question at a meeting.

1902/04/28: M&A to Farrer. In the Grant St design we are leaning towards good appearance rather than economy. The drawings and specification should be ready by the end of next week.

1902/05/02: JM to Farrer. The Grant St proposal is more or less ready, but JM would like to come to Ballarat to discuss details on Monday 5th in the evening. JM asks for a telegrammed reply to his private address "St James's Park, Hawthorn".

1902/05/03: Farrer to M&A. Telegram. Shall discuss proposed plans Grant St Monday 8.00 pm City Hall.

1902/05/04: JM to Farrer. JM is coming on the express, and shall come to City Hall as near 8 pm as possible.

1902/05/05: JM diary: "In evening. to Ballaarat by Adelaide express (with Governor General + Brough[?] Company). Ill at Ballaarat refreshment room. Spend evening with Farrer till 1 a.m."

1902/05/05: Set of exercise book pages with pencil notes. "Grant St visit to Ballarat." "Notes for Mr Farrer." Calculations of foundation stresses.

1902/05/09: JM to Farrer. Please send a drawing of the 54 ft space in the Creek wall at Grant St so that I can incorporate [the transition] from the abutment to the wall.

1902/05/09: JM to Mr Blair. It is a long time since I used day labour for bluestone and I am not in touch with present proper rates. What are the unit costs of good quality work?

1902/05/12: James Blair, architect and building surveyor, to JM. "Re prices - like yourself I feel a little rusty, not being in direct touch with the masonry as of yore."

1902/05/13: Sketch. Parapet details "per Mr Farrer".

1902/05/14: JTNA leaves to take up an appointment in New Zealand.

1902/05/19: Farrer to M&A. He has received details of the test at Thistle Street.

1902/05/29: Drawing. Shows the bridge with deep mass concrete foundations each supported on three rows of piles, some raked. The architectural treatment is elaborate. Initialled JSG.

1902/05/30: Planimeter readings of waterway areas (marked "approximate", triple underlined)

whole waterway of arch470.4 sf
whole waterway of girders415
whole waterway to flood line399?
waterway of arch to flood line385

1902/05/30: Rough estimate of the cost of a steel girder bridge. It includes a sketch cross-section and longitudinal elevation and is initialled by JSG.

1902/05/31: Rough design for a wrought iron girder bridge with timber deck.

1902/06/03: M&A to BHG, enclosing drawings for Grant St. BHG should show them to the Councillors, but not publicly, because M&A do not want to offend Farrer by appearing to go behind his back.

1902/06/03: M&A to Robertson, sending drawings of Grant St on the quiet. We do not want to offend Farrer by doing so officially. However, let your Councillors know. Grant St will be 50% stronger than the Monier bridges of similar span in Bendigo.

1902/06/05: BHG to JM. Received yours of 3rd and blueprint of design for Grant St Bridge, and will quietly do as you wish. I will be most careful not to in the slightest measure do anything to affect Mr Farrer's equanimity, and I know many councillors sufficiently well to take them into my confidence.

1902/06/05: Farrer to M&A. Acknowledging receipt of M&A's of 31st ult. and drawings.

1902/06/07: Robertson to M&A. Yours of 3rd. Robertson put the plans and explained Monier to four councillors of the Works Committee last Wednesday. They were most impressed. He will now see the other five councillors.

1902/07/03: Argus. Re the Yarrowee Channel: Council has asked the Government for more money.

1902/07/29: JM to Farrer. (Unofficial.) How do matters stand with the Grant St project?

1902/07/29: M&A to BHG. We still have no news re Grant St. Could you investigate? We know from past experience that unless one keeps in constant touch variations creep in and affairs get beyond the reach of further negotiations. We do not fear open competition, "but we do fear sinister influences which may be at work without our knowledge".

1902/08/01: Age. Mention that the Government is to help with the Yarrowee Channel.

1902/08/22: JM to BHG. Yours of 21st. Thanks for the information which is of great use to me. Farrer is always non-committal, and has shown no hostility - I think he is well disposed to us. On the strength of your hint I shall see Catani or Davidson.

1902/08/25: Farrer to M&A. Yours of 29th ult. The bridge is still no further advanced. The difficulty of providing ways and means is still present in marked form.

1902/09/19: JM to BHG. The press says the new City loan allows only £1200 for the Grant St Bridge. JM's latest advice was that it would be an ornate bridge for well over £2000. If rigid economy is the order of the day, we can reduce our design to, say, 24 ft wide, discard the ornamentation, and build a very substantial bridge for £1200. Several of the Bendigo bridges of the same size cost under £1000. Could you pass this on to Councillors? We are sorry to trouble you so much, but "having already put in so much work upon it, I do not want to be left in the lurch at the last moment".

1902/09/25: BHG to JM. The bridge is to cost £2400, with the City and Town to find £1200 each. It will be fully three weeks before the matter comes up again before the councils. BHG offers his sympathy re the Appeal Court's decision against M&A in their dispute with the client councils over payment for the Fyansford Bridge.

1902/10/17: Age. The walls of the Yarrowee Channel are to be raised to carry the Grant St steel version at a cost of £400.

1902/10/17: JM diary: "Very tired and despondent re poor prospects".

1902/10/18: JM to BHG. Yesterday's Age report suggests the Councillors have decided on an iron girder bridge. We have had no official word. Does BHG know anything?

1902/10/30: JM to BHG. There is a rumour that the walls of the Yarrowee Channel are being raised as if for a girder bridge at Grant St. A long time ago, the Councils by formal resolution agreed to call alternative tenders.

1902/11/10: BHG to JM. (Private.) Tenders have not yet been called, but the walls have been extended under the old bridge. I believe there is a move in favour of an iron girder bridge - and advise you writing direct to each of the Councils here pointing out the trouble you have been to in providing plans and stating that the PWD are not opposed to the Monier. This is particular; find out if the Government Grant was given on the stipulation that an iron girder bridge only was to be erected. If not, alternative tenders should be called. Put it nicely before the councils and give no hint that I have put you up to this. P.S. See Mayor [elect?] Shoppee at Sheehan's Treasury Hotel or Parliament Houses on Wednesday or Thursday. "Easily catch him. He can tell you all."

1902/11/20: Sheet listing a partial history of negotiations:

11.02.02   Meeting of Joint Committee authorised alternative tenders. 'Star' and 'Courier'.
15.4Letter from Mr Farrer received.
5.5JM visits Ballarat.
13.5Mr Farrer calls on M&A.
30.5Sent Mr Farrer full working drawings embodying his modifications.

1902/11/27: M&A to Town Clerk. M&A understand the Grant St question is soon to be settled. They remind the Town Clerk of the history of their efforts to secure the contract.

1902/11/27: M&A to Town Clerk. They trust they will be able as arranged to submit an alternative tender. At a joint meeting of the councils in February last, calling of alternative tenders was definitely authorised. Therefore on April 15th we were called upon by the City Engineer to submit drawings and specifications. This was done after several interviews with Mr Farrer and embodying modifications which seemed to him desirable. The papers were finally submitted on 30 May. Since then M&A have heard nothing. They have been to considerable trouble and expense, and do not want to let it drop. They note that the upstream portion of the walls of the Creek Channel have been built, but these could be embodied in an arch bridge. M&A want to save the councils £400 to £500. There are already upwards of 24 Monier bridges in Australia and they exist generally throughout Europe.

1902/12/18: Fraser (Town Clerk) to M&A. At a joint meeting of councillors last evening it was resolved to invite alternative tenders. Mr Farrer stated the foundations were treacherous and he would not recommend a Monier construction. It would be as well for you to consider this when tendering and guarantee the structure for a certain length of time.

1902/12/18: Ballarat Courier. "A joint meeting …" Alternative tenders are to be called for the Grant St bridge.

1902/12/19: M&A to Fraser. Thanks for your private letter of 18th and hint about the foundations. Farrer has had ample opportunity to raise this. The pressure for a Monier arch is less than for girder bridge - this is easily demonstrated. A girder bridge would be about the same weight, but the foundations would have only one third of the area.

1902/12/21: BHG to JM. (Private.) Shoppee will be the next Mayor. He is strongly in favour [of Monier]. This is my surmise only. Farrer and Shoppee are to meet Taverner (Minister of Public Works) for money. Taverner, Davidson and Catani favour Monier and it will be well to get their ear. It might be well to show them that the walls of the channel would not need to be so high if Monier rather than steel girders were used. Will try to find exact date of meeting. Could you butter Farrer over in anyway in meantime?

This letter fits well as precursor to entry 1902/08/22, JM to BHG. However, its date of 21 December has been double-checked at UMA, and the date of 22 August for the other letter is consistent with adjacent notes taken in chronological order from NLA.

1902/12/30: Fraser to M&A. It is hard to advise them. The meeting was private. Farrer sank shafts and would be willing to give M&A details, so they should write and say they understand the engineer is worried about the foundations and they guarantee the bridge for, say, five years. There is no doubt that Farrer is prejudiced against Monier, but many councillors are for it.

1903/02/22: Sheet with a new heading "Grant St" and an older heading "Koondrook". It was probably used for reference to the load-bearing capacity of piles (18 tons per pile).

1903/03/07: JM to Gibson. Inter alia, Farrer has practically promised me a handsome order for plates.

1903/04/05: JM diary: "Home on Grant St."

1903/04/07: M&A to Cowley. M&A have realised that Farrer is anti-Monier. Therefore they will submit a tender for both alternatives and want Cowley to join in the steel tender.

1903/04/14: JM to Robertson. Yours 13th. JM will be up in Ballarat next week and wishes to arrange a meeting.

1903/04/20: JM to Farrer. The alterations you required have made it necessary to revise the drawings of Grant St. JM will bring them on Wednesday if possible.

1903/04/21: JM diary: "To Ballarat with Reed".

1903/04/22: Ballarat Courier. Brief mention of JM's meeting with Farrer.

1903/04/22: JM diary: "Evening train home."

1903/04/22: Farrer to M&A. I shall be pleased to see you at 3.45 today.

1903/04/27: Farrer to M&A. Where are the drawings promised for 23rd?

1903/04/28: M&A to Farrer, sending a revised drawing with changes to the masonry spandrels which are to be in an axed finish instead of rock-faced.

1903/05/09: Ballarat Star. The City of Ballarat calls tenders for the Grant St Bridge.

1903/05/13: M&A to Town Clerk, asking for an extension of the time limit on tenders for Grant St owing to "the disorganisation of the railway and postal services" and the "present disturbed conditions".

1903/05/18: JM to Robertson. "Our young friend in the 'City' is doing everything in his power to block our chance for the Monier Bridge at Grant St." The closing of tenders should be delayed because of the strike. "I do not know whether you have seen his design. It is about as meagre, ugly and paltry a looking thing as you could imagine. There is not a vestige of architectural beauty in the design and everything is cut down to the barest limit of safety. I was distinctly told that the City & Town were desirous of a handsome bridge and about £2000 was named as the price they would go to … He quietly waited until he got my design … and then cut down his ideas all over, in his effort to cut below the Monier design. The result is a very unlovely and doubtful design. Those main girders are too light for such a span, and too far apart, and as for the lattice girder, it is hideous and there is little to stiffen it from constant vibration. I feel pretty sore over this, as it is in no sense a fair competition."

At this time M&A sent out letters to steel suppliers requesting prices to be included in M&A's tender for Farrer's steel design.

1903/05/19: Robertson to M&A. Yrs of 18th to hand informing me of that which I am sorry to say I have observed all along the line. I have not been favoured with a sight of the Gordon construction. There has been considerable friction at the Council table re the non production of the plans at Ballarat East. Tomorrow the Works Committee meet and I am given to understand that the plans will be on view. To meet the craftiness of this know-all could you not put in two tenders one amount for a first class Monier bridge without ornament to be as eye[?] sweet[?] as the Gordon Bridge also a tender for the design you have [prepared?]. Fair play is not in the fellow's make up - I will see how the cat jumps tomorrow. If I can get a chance the position shall be placed before the Council.

1903/05/20: Farrer to M&A. The deadline for the return of tenders has been extended to 3 pm on 8th June.

1903/05/20: JM diary: "To Ballarat re Grant St".

1903/05/21: JM diary: "Back by first train".

1903/05/21: BHG to JM, recommending quarry people: Shaw the contractor and Smythe & Rutherford (both of Melbourne) who had the Yarrowee Channel job.

1903/05/23: Calculations by JM for a T-girder reinforced concrete bridge for Grant St.

JM refers to Christophe, P. Le béton armé et ses applications, 2nd edn., Beranger, Paris, 1902, p.580.

1903/05/24: JM diary: All day home [Sunday] - Grant St, T plate Monier.

1903/05/25: Ballarat Star. The Grant St tender deadline has been extended due to the railway strike.

1903/06/01: JM to JSG. I have a couple of days work for you on Grant St.

1903/06/01: Final calculations for Grant St.

1903/06/02: JM to Farrer. (Unofficial.) Re the flattening of the arch at Grant St, JM cites the rail over-bridge at Singleton, NSW which has a span of 53 ft, a rise of 5'-2", and a crown thickness of 8". He points out that M&A's Grant St design is 25% stronger. The NSW railways built the Singleton bridge with day labour.

1903/06/05: JM to BHG, enclosing an article on Monier. Could BHG try to get it in the most influential morning papers on Tuesday 9th ?

1903/06/7-9: Rough versions of estimates for all four M&A versions stapled together.

1903/06/07: JM diary: "Work on Grant St tenders till 11".

1903/06/08: JM to Farrer. I find you have inserted provisions into the specification for Monier, some of which are [harmful]. The forms are to be soft soaped. The spandrel walls are to have a hidden bond with the wing walls. The arch is to be coated with asphalt. JM argues inter alia that the bond between the spandrels and the wing wall will lead to cracking.

1903/06/08: Tenders submitted:

Steel girders [as designed by Farrer]£1820
Monier design A. Arch with ornamentation demanded by Farrer1720
Monier design B. Arch without ornamentation1520
Monier design C. Monier T-girders and Monier deck instead of arch1400

Accompanying memos note that since M&A first approached Council to be allowed to submit a Monier design, the creek walls and certain abutments have been built. These are not suitable for an arch and therefore must be removed resulting in a cost increase of £300 for the arch. Had M&A known that in the beginning they would not have considered an arch.

"Points noted in favour of design A:

  1. Absolute permanence of every part of the bridge.
  2. No liability to rust.
  3. No maintenance required.
  4. All material (except £100 worth of steel) will be of Victorian origin and all labour local. In the steel version £500 of steel would need to be imported from overseas.
  5. The bridge is designed in accordance with "the most modern lines of architectural adornment similar to Monier bridges at the Paris Exhibition, and in public parks at Munich, Vienna, St Louis (USA) etc."

"In favour of design B:

All the above, and it is similar in appearance to Bendigo, Whittlesea, Epping, Kyneton, etc.

Here JM identifies bridges by the names of the City and Shires in which they were built. 'Bendigo', of course, refers to the eight Bendigo Bridges. His more usual nomenclature for the others was Barber's Creek (Whittlesea); Wollert (Epping); and Coliban (Kyneton).

"In favour of design C:
Many bridges of this type already exist. They are the most suitable and cheapest type where the abutments are already in existence. They possess all the advantages of the arched type besides affording a handsome bridge which will be an ornament to the city."

1903/06/08: JM diary: "To Ballarat evening train".

1903/06/09: Ballarat Star. Article on "Modern Bridge Construction." [See entry 03/06/05.]

1903/06/09: JM prepares, completes and lodges the tender.

1903/06/10: JM diary: "Back to Melbourne by morning train". The same day he learns of the failure of M&A's Grant St tender.

1903/06/10: BHG to JM, sending clippings from the Star and Courier. He has inserted M&A's letter "at your telephone request" with the firm's name. "It was a very great shame you were not successful."

1903/06/11: Ballarat Courier. Letter from M&A re "The Grant St Bridge".

1903/06/11: Ballarat Star. Letter from M&A re "The Grant St Bridge".

1903/06/11: R. E Williams (Town Clerk, City of Ballarat) to M&A, returning M&A's deposit.

1903/06/12: Williams to M&A, returning the photos M&A had lent.

1903/06/19: BHG to JM. I promised to let you know when my brother would be in Melbourne. He has just written saying "probably 3rd or 4th of July". There has been a good deal of comment regarding the letting of tenders for the Grant St Bridge on the top of the letter I put in the Star and Courier at your request. I sent you the 'Papers' which I trust you got.

1903/09/05: JM to Robertson. "With you, I regret that your Council does not seem disposed to give us a start with Monier Bridge work."