Sunday History Photo, Tas

Submitted: Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 00:44
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The Hobart Bridge was a pontoon bridge that crossed the River Derwent, connecting the eastern and western Shores of the City of Hobart,
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Plans for a bridge to link the Derwent River’s two shores near Hobart date back to 1832. It was not until 1943 that the first bridge was completed, the Hobart floating bridge and lift span. The bridge was opened to toll traffic on 22 December 1943 and the collection of tolls continued until midnight on 31 December 1948. The toll on cars was 2/- until reduced by 1/- in 1946. Utilities cost 1/6 and passengers over the age of 14 were charged 3d.
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Soon after its opening a violent storm blew in and damaged a section of the bridge, and to prevent the same happening again, the bridge was anchored to the riverbed in the middle and strengthening cables were added to stiffen the structure. After these modifications were completed the lifespan of the bridge was estimated as 21 years. It was closed on the 17th August 1964.
The bridge provided much better connection between the Eastern and Western Shores, and consequently development on the Eastern Shore sped up and became so dense by the mid-1950s that the floating bridge could no longer handle the amount of traffic that was crossing it. Congestion became a severe problem, and in the late 1950s the decision was taken to construct a completely new bridge, the Tasman Bridge, which opened in early 1964.
The floating bridge was closed to traffic on 17 August of that year, and the following day the locking pin was removed and the two concrete sections towed away. For several years they were moored, but one of them sank in November 1970, and the Council undertook to dispose of them. The two halves were cut up and sunk at various locations.
The lift span was left in situ for some years but in the end it too was demolished. Today the only reminders of the bridge are the eastern foot of the lifting section which is still in place, and the preserved locking pin. One of the pontoons was sunk at Allonah, and remains in use as a public jetty. Another piece is sunk in Ralphs Bay, in about 40 feet of water.
The Hobart Bridge was of unique design and construction, and the first of its type anywhere in the world. It was a floating bridge with a lift span, constructed of hollow concrete pontoons, 24 in all, connected together forming a crescent shape curved upstream, and anchored in the middle.
The bridge was constructed in 12-pontoon sections which were then towed out into the river and connected to the banks and to each other in the middle. The total volume of concrete used in making these pontoons was 11,000 cubic yards. The two halves of the bridge were made of ten 131' 6" pontoons, one 124' 6" section, and one 138' 6" section, joined in the middle by a 12 3/4" diameter vertical locking pin and weighed half a ton. The designer, Mr A.W. Knight is seen on the right. The pin is now located in front of the Royal Engineers Building at 2 Davey Street
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The total length of the roadway was 3,154 feet. The total width of the bridge was 40' 6". It had a two-lane roadway and a footpath on one side. At the western end a large lifting section was provided to allow ships to pass. It provided a vertical clearance of 145' 6" at low tide, and the opening section was 180 ft wide. Four 600 hp electric motors were used to open the bridge, which took two minutes. The total weight of steel used in the construction of the bridge was 3,100 tons.

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Reply By: Member - Dunworkin (WA) - Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 01:42

Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 01:42
That was an interesting bit of history as usual, thanks Doug, I always look forward to the Sunday History Lesson.

Cheers

Deanna


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Reply By: Willem - Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 06:30

Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 06:30
Good one Doug. I always enjoy your Sunday lesson. Reminds me of Sunday School (hahahahaha).

I wonder how it took that old Chev to rust out completely :-)


Cheers
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Reply By: Member - Damien L (Cairns) - Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 06:37

Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 06:37
Thanks Doug for the history lesson today.
I always look forward to it.
Thanks mate.
Love the bush

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Reply By: Member - Geoff the chef (NSW)M - Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 06:48

Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 06:48
excellent as usual Doug.
cheers,
Geoff
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Reply By: Lotzi - Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 07:13

Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 07:13
G'day Doug
Thanks, that was a good one on this Easter Sunday ...
Happy Easter
Lotzi
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Reply By: Bonz (Vic) - Thoughtfully- Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 07:21

Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 07:21
Hey Doug, How much would have been recovered by the tolls, I wonder if we know?
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Reply By: Member - Fred B (NT) - Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 10:34

Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 10:34
Hi Doug & Noel, tried to reply to your member message but it's not working at the moment. Was good to catch up with both of you (and dusty of course) on Friday. Hope the party didn't keep you up too late last night. lol... Doug, the history lesson is great as usual.
Fred B
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Reply By: Gone Bush (WA) - Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 15:17

Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 15:17
"The toll on cars was 2/- until reduced by 1/- in 1946. Utilities cost 1/6 and passengers over the age of 14 were charged 3d."

Any youngsters reading this will wonder what on earth this means.

Why would kids under 14 be 3 dimensional???

I can remember when 2/- got me into the Sattie arvo matinee AND a White Knight to chew on. Love those Davy Crocket movies. Got them on DVD now. Remember Mike Finke (a river pirate) being called a "great populator"? I only woke up to that when I got the DVDs.

Sorry for the hijack but all this makes me reminisce. (And wonder where all the years went).

Getting maudlin now, bye.

Acid drops used to be 10 a penny. Ask for them now and you get chucked in jail !!!


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