Monday, May 26, 2008

Adelaide City Bridge

The photograph featured today in the weather segment of the ABC 7:00pm News (Adelaide) was this photo of the Adelaide City Bridge.

Adelaide Bridge

Bridges have always held a certain fascination for me. For the most part regarded as engineering feats, these structures are likewise architectural design marvels. Taking the course in Architectural Science as part of my undergraduate degree, I became more fascinated in the engineering design of bridges.

The Adelaide City Bridge, also known as the King William Street Bridge in Adelaide, South Australia is one of ten bridges that span the River Torrens. The first bridge was one of timber built in 1839 approximately 500 metres west of the current City bridge, but destroyed by floods in September 1844. In 1849, £6000 was allocated to bridge the Torrens. Within four years three wooden bridges had been built and subsequently destroyed in floods.

In June 1856 the English-manufactured, iron City Bridge was opened, extending King William Street to North Adelaide. A photograph of the City Bridge, circa 1866 shows a bowstring type suspension bridge design with trussed arches. Another Townsend Duryea photograph circa 1866 shows the road over the City Bridge. The iron bridge was widened in 1877 then converted into a two-lane bridge in 1884.

In 1931, the bridge was replaced with a concrete open spandrel deck arch structure. The present day concrete bridge features art deco architectural details reminiscent of the popular movement of the 1930s.

Adelaide Bridge

Adelaide Bridge

See also: Bridge Basics for a general description of most bridge types.

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