Feature Article - The Pinnacle Road, Mt Wellington
The Pinnacle Road, from the turn off at the Springs to the summit of Mount Wellington, was officially opened on the 23 January 1937 by the Governor of the day, Sir Ernest Clark. The event was witnessed by 2,000 people. The opening ceremony marked the culmination of over two years work by a large gang of sustenance workers.
During the depression years, the Government of Tasmania looked for projects to provide work for the large numbers of unemployed men. The Pinnacle Road to Mount Wellington was one such project. Over the road construction period of 30 months, thousands of men were employed for short periods of time. The project also provided Hobart and the State with a new tourist asset.
The Premier Mr A.G. Ogilvie, K.C stated at the opening ceremony: ‘The cost to the government has been £26,000, but had the construction of the road not been proceeded with the State would still have had to find £20,000 in sustenance rates or payments for dole work…’
From the turn off at the Springs the Pinnacle Road is approximately 7.3 kilometres in length; and it is 6.1 metres wide has a maximum gradient of one in fourteen.
When construction of the road first commenced, there was doubt that it could be built with the type of labour employed. Many of the men who worked on the road were not accustomed to manual labour, but due to being unemployed were forced to take this work.
A bronze tablet affixed to the cairn at the summit to honour the men who worked on the construction†reads:
‘This tablet, was erected to commemorate the achievement of the men who laboured under difficult conditions on the construction of the Pinnacle Road planned and supervised by the officers of the Public Works Department, and built by the Government of Tasmania in association with the Hobart City Council. 1934-1936’