AUSTRALIA’S MOST BEAUTIFUL BRIDGES
When you think of the Australia’s beauty, you think of wild and rugged landscapes carved out by the elements. You think of the rich reds of Uluru or the smatterings of colours of the Great Barrier Reef. If you consider man-made beauty, you think of the Opera House at Sydney Harbour. Rarely does anyone consider the beauty present in Australia’s bridges, except for the Sydney Harbour Bridge of course. Beyond the Sydney Harbour Bridge, many of Australia’s bridges are a feat of engineering and hold a certain kind of architectural beauty and poise which isn’t present in other structures.
GLADESVILLE BRIDGE, NEW SOUTH WALES
Gladesville Bridge celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2014. When it was completed in 1962, it held the title of the longest concrete arch span bridge in the world until it was knocked off the top in 1980. Its impressive 300m arch is a prominent feature of the Sydney skyline.
ANZAC BRIDGE, NEW SOUTH WALES
Connecting Pyrmont and Glebe Island, the Anzac Bridge was named after the men and women of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps at the time. The reinforced concrete pylons stand 120m high and are supported by impressive stay cables. The bridge is best seen at sunset when the lights come on and twinkle in the darkness.
ROSS BRIDGE, TASMANIA
Ross Bridge looks like something out of a British George Eliot novel. The structure oozes historical charm and its complex design features over 180 Celtic carvings. It was constructed in 1836 by convict labour and is the third oldest bridge still in use in Australia.
STORY BRIDGE, BRISBANE
Story Bridge carries vehicles and pedestrians across the Brisbane River, joining the northern suburbs to the southern suburbs of Brisbane. John Bradfield designed the structure, the same designer behind the Sydney Harbour Bridge, which took 12,000 tonnes of concrete to build. Visit Brisbane at New Year to see the bridge illuminated with a multicoloured hue as the fireworks dance across the night sky behind it.
WEBB BRIDGE, VICTORIA
Resembling an art installation, Webb Bridge gives pedestrians and cyclists passage over the Yarra River. The design won first prize in an architectural contest to connect residential developments to the Docklands using sections of the former Webb Dock Rail Bridge. The end result is nothing short of a work of art as the bird’s nest design snakes across the moving river.
SEA CLIFF BRIDGE, NEW SOUTH WALES
The cantilever Sea Cliff Bridge cost $52 million to build and connects the villages of Coalcliff and Clifton. While the bridge itself may not be much to look at when you are on it, the view it offers of the surrounding coastline earns it its place on this list. It’s the featured image above – it does look quite spectacular when seen at a distance. On top of that, the curved design makes it marvel of engineering. For those interested in the mechanics of bridge engineering, it is well worth a visit.
HAWKESBURY RIVER RAILWAY BRIDGE, NEW SOUTH WALES
The historic Hawkesbury River Railway Bridge was built in 1886, connecting the railway systems of South Australia, Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. It represents the final piece of the railway jigsaw but also has buckets of charm and beauty. It represents a huge feat of engineering both in bridge design and in the Australian railway system it completed to one universal track size – even with 3 different gauge sizes existing in Australia today except for the major cities.
I left Sydney Harbour Bridge out on purpose because it is such an icon and I wanted to share more than the usual. Everyone knows the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
What do you think? What is your favourite bridge in Australia? Please share your opinion and knowledge through the comments section below.