Victoria Bridge - Engineering Landmark, Townsville Queensland
Posted by: bucketeer
S 19° 15.609 E 146° 49.073
55K E 480861 N 7870377
Quick Description: A Townsville Icon
Location: Queensland, Australia
Date Posted: 7/28/2012 1:39:57 AM
Waymark Code: WMEZE0
A RARE ENGINEERING EXAMPLE
The Victoria Bridge is the only bridge of its kind in Queensland and is one of only six swing bridges constructed in Australia. Constructed of deep steel girders imported from England, it was unlike most other swing bridges in the country which were constructed as trusses using smaller sections.
A gas engine powered the swinging mechanism, rather than steam or electric power like other bridges. While most swing bridges were operated from a control tower located above the decking, the Victoria Bridge was operated from a point beneath the decking at the top of the main cylinder, accessed via a small manhole set within the bridge decking.
With a swinging span of close to 23 metres the Victoria Bridge was the largest swing bridge in Australia at the time of its construction and remained so for some years. It is a unique part of Australia’s engineering heritage. The importance of the bridge to both Townsville and the wider community has been recognised by its entry in the heritage registers of the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Trust of Queensland and the Australian Heritage Commission.
The Victoria Bridge. the first major bridge built in Townsville, was constructed between 1884 and 1889 linking the city to South Townsville. It was designed by Government Engineer for Bridges. JH Daniells and its construction was funded by the Queensland Government. Built at a cost of more than £20,000. the bridge was completed and handed over to the Townsville Municipal Council in July 1889.
As shipping was crucial to the early economy of the town, a ‘swing’ bridge was designed to allow access to the wharves upstream in the Ross Creek channel. The central section of the swing bridge rotated about a vertical axis on a cylindrical pier, allowing space either side for the passage of ships to those areas. The gas engine powering the swinging mechanism was housed within the central pier.
In 1923 the swing mechanism of the bridge was closed permanently. The bridge remained open to vehicular traffic but as other bridges were constructed in Townsville it was no longer needed and was closed in 1975.
Threatened with demolition. the bridge was heavily modified in the 19805 with the construction of an enclosed shopping centre over the carriageway and the removal of the approaches on both sides.
In 2001 the Townsville City Council, with support from the State Govemment. restored the bridge by removing the enclosures and returning it to the pedestrians of the city.
Informaton was taken from signs mounted at either end of the bridge.
The coordinates were taken at the Plaque declaring the bridge to be an Engineering Landmark
Victoria Bridge, Townsville
Type of structure/site: Swing Bridge
Date of Construction: 1889
Engineer/Architect/Builder etc.: Government Engineer for Bridges - JH Daniells
Engineering Organization Listing: Engineers Australia
Primary Web Site: [Web Link]
Secondary Web Site: [Web Link]
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