The original Victoria Bridge, which had opened in 1865 was wooden, and collapsed due to a wood-worm infestation. The replacement bridge, although made of iron, was still no match for nature and succumbed to the mother of all Brisbane floods in 1893. The next bridge was completed in 1897, and lasted until 1969, when it could no longer service Brisbane's ever-increasing traffic. Here is a picture, taken in 1952, of that bridge. Notice the line of traffic and the queue of trams trying to reach Brisbane's CBD - click on the picture for a larger image.
(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #62835)
When the latest bridge was opened in 1969, a reminder of the previous structure was left. On the South Brisbane side is one of the old bridge's portals, a pedestrian arch (below), and affixed to that is a tribute to a young Brisbane lad who was killed in a traffic accident at that spot while waving to returning WWI servicemen. Fellow blogger Cara at Brisbane Daily Photo mentioned in her recent post that, each Anzac Day, wreaths are still laid to his memory.
(Photo: © 2009 the foto fanatic)
And finally, the current bridge. Much more attractive than the old one, which I always felt looked like a bad Meccano structure, this one is all sweeping curves and open space. But it has the most confusing traffic flow. To allow Brisbane's buses to run on schedule, the traffic engineers have created separate lanes for them, but as a motorist you are never quite sure where you are meant to be, and I always have mild anxiety attacks as I am confronted by large vehicles of the bus kind seemingly heading straight towards me. This picture, taken from the Queen St end (click on it for a larger image) might give you some idea of what I am saying.
(Photos: © 2009 the foto fanatic)
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