With a plan to tear it down followed through, the Hampden Bridge - old and weary, historic and beautiful - is gone.
Wagga, a city that takes pride in its past, with its eye continually on the future, has erased a relic from its landscape.
At 11am Wednesday, a surprise bang ricocheted across the CBD, signalling the collapse of a once proud bridge into the waters of the Murrumbidgee River below.
"It's going to take some time to get used to not seeing the bridge here.Heinz Kausche
Some will applaud the new cash savings to flow to council from eliminating maintenance costs, or for finally following through on the decision to bring the bridge down.
Others will feel disenchanted, reminiscing the bridge that was a formative feature of their childhood.
Council's director of infrastructure services Heinz Kausche said it was a sad day for Wagga.
"It's going to take some time to get used to not seeing the bridge here," he said.
"No one is walking around saying yipee the bridge is down. From the project point of view, today went as it should, but it's a sad day as well."
The three spans that made up the 118-year-old icon - the central span, and the two connected to land - had been gradually reduced to a skeleton state since June.
Explosive charges were then added to the spans and were detonated at 11am. The centre span dropped into the river, but the two end spans failed to release.
Enlisting the help of an excavator, the ends were pushed off the bank and released.
"We would drive over it, jump off it when we were younger and ride horses over it and now I'm watching it come down," said lifetime Wagga resident Victoria King, who was watching the collapse from the Fitzmaurice Street side of the bridge.
Council's argument is that the costs of maintaining the bridge were too high. In 2012, councillors unanimously voted the city could ill-afford the million-dollar maintenance price tag.
Others argued that you couldn't put a price on history.
Council will embark on a legacy project to remember the bridge, which includes retaining one pylon.
IT WAS the bridge Sherry Morris will remember for the rest of her life and "an icon of the city of Wagga" gone too soon.
"It was just left to rack and ruin but, by the time of public outcry, it was too late," she said.
"I'm very sad to see it go."
Ms Morris first moved to Wagga in 1971 and lived north of the river. Having fallen in love with the bridge as a frequent user, she wrote a book about its history and its eventual demise.
She said the bridge - which was completed in 1895 - was a project built by the community and torn down by the community.
"To me it has been such a beautiful bridge," she said.
"But I can also see that it was it was deteriorating at a rate that it had to come down.
"Perhaps, if the original builders got what they wanted with a steel bridge, instead of a wooden one, it would still be here today."
The author said the bridge was remarkable because it was designed by Percy Allan, a civil engineer who was famous for the Allan truss design.
The bridge opened in 1895 and replaced the ageing Wagga Company Bridge. It closed in
1995, short of its 100th birthday, when the current Wiradjuri Bridge opened.
"He (Percy Allan) was one of the greatest designers of all time," she said.
"His bridges are normally heritage listed but this one wasn't."
The bridge was demolished for a cost of about $1.8 million.
Wagga City Council director of infrastructure services Heinz Kausche said the bridge wouldn't be forgotten.
"We will get to work on the legacy project to remember the bridge," he said.
"There's a fair bit of stuff to happen here to make sure it is not forgotten."