Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Australia's Bridges: Sir Leo Hielschel (Gateway) Bridges across the Brisbane River in Queensland

March 2011 (-27.444 deg., 153.100 deg.) Gateway Bridges over the Brisbane River

After spending a week in Sydney we traveled north to Brisbane.

Last year, floods caused damage all along the Brisbane River, and the region was still undergoing repairs during our visit. We took the CityCat Ferry from the Riverside Ferry Terminal (one of the few terminals that remained undamaged). The ferry traveled downstream to the Gateway Bridges (the last bridges before the Pacific) before turning around and heading back to Brisbane.

The Gateway Bridges are two parallel cast-in-place box girder bridges with main spans of 850 ft. The first bridge was built in 1986 and was the record holder for the longest prestressed cantilever girder span (currently the Shibanpo in China) for many years. A second bridge was added in 2010.

The bridges are over a mile long and each bridge carries six lanes of traffic. The height was controlled by the nearby airport and by ship traffic to about 260 ft above sea level. The owners recently changed the name to the Leo Hielschel Bridges despite strong opposition.  They implemented electronic toll collection a few years ago, which helped reduced traffic accidents. They also added fences, which reduced the number of jumpers. 
Creative Commons License
Australia's Bridges: Sir Leo Hielschel (Gateway) Bridges across the Brisbane River in Queensland by Mark Yashinsky is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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