My whole life is an experiment . . . sometimes I get surprising results. - C Erdmann

Sunday, August 1, 2010

A bit of history?

We're having a bit of history in the making around here at the mo.
The third (and Australia's longest spanning) bridge, connecting Redcliffe Peninsula(where I live) with Brighton, has recently opened and dh and I took a walk to the highest point that you can see it from to take our own little shot of history.

Construction of the viaduct.
Image courtesy of State Library of Queensland

The very first bridge, Hornibrook, which was started in 1933 was part of the Hornibrook Highway and was named after the chief engineer Sir Manuel Hornibrook. See here for more details.
These old black and whites are fabulous, yes?

Opening day 1935
Image courtesy State Library of Queensland

Another shot of opening day.

I'm guessing this was taken in the 80's at least, from the southern end of the bridge courtesy of The Redcliffe Historical Society.

In the late 70's a second bridge (Houghton Highway) was built, with the intention to use both bridges eventually to help with traffic build up. Hornibrook Bridge was closed in 1979 to traffic and used as a footbridge only, and became a very popular fishing bridge.
It has since failed all structural tests(2006-2007?) and was condemned. Apparently the pylons are rotting and a lot of the bridgework is crumbling. Rather dangerous I would think.
Work has now started to remove the whole bridge. The iconic bridge portals will remain on both ends with a small area of about 100 mtrs to be reconstructed for fishing and recreation.
At least not all the wonderful history will be wiped from the face of the earth, but I suppose if it's so dangerous, it's for the best. So we still only had one bridge(3 lanes) for our ever growing population. 
Now for our little piece of history.....

My photo here shows the three bridges all at once. The highest bridge at the back, is the new one (Ted Smout Memorial Bridge).
The one in front is the old Hornibrook, and by this time next year, and probably sooner, it will be gone forever.
A bit of irony(?) here is that even though the new bridge is now operating, we believe the middle one, Houghton, will be getting an upgrade which will take a year! There is one lane closed now. So we probably won't have full operations for another year. It's only taken since 1935 to get two bridges going.

Now all we need to see is the much promised rail link to our capital city, Brisbane, which has only been promised every election campaign since the late 18oo's. Pretty speedy hey? :))))))))

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