Saturday, November 04, 2006

Brisbane, Where I Live, Part 3

I thought this was going to be my last post for "Brisbane, Where I Live"
but no I have one last post to do, as I haven't shown you the Brisbane
City Hall or Parliament House (both important to the history of Brisbane).

Overlooking the CBD of Brisbane from Kangaroo Point.

The first bridge to cross the river between North and South Brisbane was
opened in June 1865. Constructed of wood, it was only intended to be a
temporary structure whilst a more permanent and substantial iron bridge
was constructed - but this new bridge took more than ten years to build.
This first temporary wooden bridge was to last for less than two years,
becoming so infested with marine cobra worm that it collapsed in April 1867.

First Victoria Bridge (wooden) over the Brisbane River.

February 4 1893 saw the highest floods on record in Brisbane and elsewhere.
6ft water in Edward Street at the Courier Buildings, hundreds of houses
washed down river, trees uprooted and shipping torn from moorings.
The shores of Moreton Bay were strewn with wreckage. On 5th Indooroopilly
Bridge was washed away; pm the 6th the northern end of Victoria Bridge
disappeared; flood waters rose at Brisbane to 23 feet 9 inches above mean
spring tide and 10 feet over the previous highest flood mark (1890).

View of the first permanent Victoria Bridge, washed away by the
1893 Brisbane
floods. A crowd has gathered on the north bank of
the river to observe the
The South Brisbane end of the bridge is still standing.

Similar disaster befell other towns where bridges and houses disappeared
by the hundreds; at Gympie (where Peter at Holtiesplace lives) many
of the mines were blown up; much loss of life reported particularly from
Ipswich. Rainfall at Crohamhurst, head of Brisbane water was 105 inches
between 1st January and 11th February.
A second flood almost reaching the level of the first was experienced on the
19th, a lesser one having prevailed on the 13th. South Brisbane was without
fresh water for some days and the whole of Brisbane practically in darkness
at night.

Looking down the flooded Albert Street in 1893.

Following the destruction of the first Victoria Bridge (opened in 1874 and
washed away by flood waters on 6 February 1893), a temporary bridge
structure was erected in late 1893 to link the city with South Brisbane,
which served until the opening of the second permanent bridge in 1897.

The second Victoria Bridge (temporary) after the 1893 floods.

A variety of transport, including cars, horsedrawn carriages, trams and
pedestrians entering and exiting the northern end of Victoria Bridge in 1926.
The second permanent Victoria Bridge opened in 1897 and operated until
replaced by the third permanent bridge in 1969.

......Two views of the Old (3rd) Victoria Bridge.

The Treasury Building (on the left) and the Victoria Bridge.

In 1969 a new Victoria Bridge was built along side the old bridge, which was
then demolised after the new bridge was opened. Trams ran across the old
bridge but by 1969 trams had been phased out of Brisbane's traffic.

A tram coming off the old Victoria Bridge. Construction cranes
can be seen
were the new bridge was being built. A policeman in
front of the tram directs

When the new Victoria Bridge was opened a part of the old bridge was left
as a memorial and this can be viewed at the southern part of the bridge.
A part of the old tram tracks was also left and can be seen by the memorial.

Part of the Old Victoria Bridge left as a memorial...and tram tracks.

Plaque dedicated to the old Victoria Bridge (love those graffiti artists)

The new Victoria Bridge opened in 1969. I must admit the old steel bridge
had a lot more character. This bridge does not "stand out" like bridges of old.

................................Two views of the new Victoria Bridge.

The William Jolly Bridge is the forth crossing of the Brisbane River.
It is a steel frame arch bridge with an unusual concrete veneer and
was opened to traffic on 30 March 1932 by Sir John Goodwin, the
Governor of Queensland. The designing and supervising engineer
was A.E. Harding Frew.
When opened, the bridge was known simply as the Grey Street Bridge.
It was renamed to the William Jolly Bridge on 5 July 1955 in memory
of William Jolly, the first Lord Mayor of Greater Brisbane.

The William Jolly Bridge is shared by vehicular traffic, pedestrians and cyclists.
It connects Grey Street in South Brisbane to Roma Street on the western edge
of the Brisbane central business district. The bridge was conceived as a bypass
for motor traffic between the southern suburbs and western suburbs of
Brisbane to avoid increasing traffic congestion on the Victoria Bridge and on
downtown streets such as George Street. It was constructed with the intention
of building tram lines over it and although the tracks were never installed,
anchor points for tramway overhead were installed at the top of each arch.
These overhead anchor points still remain in place.

The bridge has two lanes for motor traffic in each direction, and a footpath
on each side of the bridge. By 2006, the Brisbane City Council reported that
on a typical weekday, 42000 vehicles crossed the bridge and at peak times
both ends of the bridge suffered from congestion.

The third bridge to cross the Brisbane River is the Story Bridge.
Actually this is the fifth bridge as the 1st bridge, the Victoria Bridge
was rebuit three times before the Story Bridge was built.

The Story Bridge is 1.3 kilometres long (including approaches) and reaches
77 metres at its highest point. More than 300 men were employed for its
design and construction, which took six years. The bridge was opened to
traffic in July 1940. Its imposing structure contains nearly 12,000 tonnes
of steel. It was named the "Story Bridge" after the Public Service
Commissioner, John Story.

Although Brisbane had only been first settled more than a century before,
it still had only only road bridge across the river. In the 1920's, the Victoria
Bridge was the subject of some concern as engineers gave repeated warnings
the the traffic it was carrying was too busy and that other bridges were needed.

It became clear that a major bridge was need - high above the shipping lane
- from Kangaroo Point to Petrie Bight. As a stop gap measure the low levelled
William Jolly Bridge was built from West End to North Quay.

It carries three lanes of traffic in either direction as well as a shared
pedestrian and cycle way flanking each side. The road on the bridge is
called the Bradfield Highway, and is the shortest highway in Australia.
Initially a toll was charged to use the bridge, with toll booths constructed
at the southern end of the Bradfield Highway.

Old black & white photos with use from the John Oxley Library.


Peter said...

The old Victoria bridge certainly had a checkered career over the years.
And you never even got to the freeway or pedestrian monstrosity.

wazza said...

No, Peter I was only ever going to post on ye' ole' Brisbane which didn't include the more modern bridges like The Gateway or The Captain Cook Bridge and the freeway.

Jim said...

Warren, you have really worked hard on this documentary about your Brisbane.
I like to look at the older bridges best, probably like to drive the newer ones better.
That night shot is really pretty. I try taking these some, but you have done it the best.

Floods are no fun. Our previous house got flooded once, we had 33 inches of water in it. The new owner had it flooded two years after he bought it.

What make is that orange car (?) driving alongside the Story Bridge? We don't have anything that has rear windows like those.

I may change my mind on the Eighth Wonder, I haven't voted yet. Most of the other Wonders of the world are man made. All of them?

Lee said...

Again, great pics, Wazza...and an interesting glimpse of Brisbane. Thanks for sharing.

Merle said...

Hi Warren ~ Another great post about Brisbane. All very interesting and you have done a lot of research for
your posts. Well done. Photos great.
Thanks for the e.mails you have sent
and comments. Regards, Merle.

Joan González said...

bella la nuit

saludos desde Barcelona


Meow said...

Hey Wazza, Your posts on Brisbane are wonderful, what a lot of work you put into them. Brisbane is a beautiful city.
Hope you have a wonderful week.
Take care, Meow

JunieRose said...


Great pictures and history of your world!