How We Started

A dozer and a box of matches

The first bridge job that Civilbuild and founder, Ray Wood, were involved in was the demolition of the old timber truss bridge on the Pacific Highway over the Myall River at Bulahdelah.

Ray, being an engineer, was planning to bring in big cranes, rigging and trucks. However his father Norman, an ex-saw miller with a practical view of such things, had a better idea and brought in a bull dozer and a packet of matches.

“We pulled the bridge down with the dozer, piled it all into the park near the hotel and lit it,” Ray said.

“It was quite a spectacular bonfire but while we were congratulating ourselves we discovered that the underwater foundations were cast iron pipes, 1.2 metres in diameter and eight metres deep and filled with concrete.

“Fortunately we had been working at BHP’s Bloom Mill and could get access to under water oxy cutting equipment.

“A diver burnt holes in the cast iron, we loaded the holes with explosives and one midnight we detonated the lot.

“Boom! No more foundations.

“We brought the bulldozer and winch back in, rolled what was left of the foundations out of the river and they form a retaining wall in front of the still standing and not blown away at midnight Plough Inn at Bulahdelah.”

Our first bridge

The first bridge built by Civilbuild was a single span structure over Cameron’s Creek, at Booral, for what was then known as the DMR. “It was a 15 metre span to a DMR design,” Ray Wood said. “Nothing very spectacular but it was built by Civilbuild employees and it was a start.

“We have come a long way from there.”

It really is a small world

A bridge that Civilbuild has just started over the Karuah River at Gorton’s Crossing near Stroud has close links with the company’s Managing Director, Stephen Wood.

His great grandmother, Stella Augusta Farley was born five kilometres upstream and his great grandfather, Harry William Green, was born at Greens Crossing, five kms downstream.

Stephen Wood

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