01 June, 2012

View from a bridge

Following on from my previous post, I thought I would put up a few more bridge pics. On Monday I drove over it. On Tuesday I rode over it and this morning I ran over it.  This afternoon I went back with the camera. I didn't have time to walk across, but I did have time to walk under and look at a couple of different angles.
Over and under: VLine passenger train heading to Marshall under the new
bridge as traffic passes overhead
One consequence of the bridge opening which I had not forseen is a significant increase in the amount of traffic noise along this part of the river. Elevating the traffic above ground level has had the effect of allowing the noise to disperse far more widely than previously. In addition, the number of trucks and busses using the route has, I assume, increased with the removal of the height restriction which caused regular problems for the old bridge.
Not too long ago, I watched a sizable semi-trailer make a creditable three point turn in the limited space immediately before the old bridge, rather than try to shoe-horn his trailer under the structure (perhaps he didn't notice the large sign detailing the height clearance of 3.7m before he turned off the highway).
Sign on rail bridge crossing the old Breakwater Bridge
This would have been a definite relief for VLine who are required to suspend rail traffic and send out a team of engineers to check the structural integrity of the bridge each time there is an impact. I am reliably informed that this was something which occurred more frequently than we might have imagined. To that end, they provide the above helpful - but somewhat disconcerting - sign with the number of the 1800 hotline. This I should think is now a thing of the past.
Under the new bridge looking west towards the Barwon

View towards the Barwon across the railway line to Marshall

As can be seen from the above photos, I wandered up the access track which runs beside the railway line towards Barwon Terrace and looked at the bridge from underneath. It is a little more functional here - lacking the paintwork of the sections spanning the river - and the graffiti artists have already made their mark.
Despite being open to traffic, the whole area under the bridge on both sides is still very much a construction zone. The clean up is now underway, redirecting of the approach to Barwon Heads Road continues and landscaping presumably needs to be completed.
Adding the finishing touches to the paintwork
Looking across the old motorcross course

On the west bank

From the east side of the river
Roadworks continue
And from above, it is also clear that much still needs to be done, although I am not sure how much of the surrounding land is public space and how much is privately owned. This is an industrial area, so beautification may not be a high priority.
Looking across the chimneys of South Geelong to Simmonds Stadium -
home of the Cats
View to the north west
It is also worth noting that there is no direct path leading to the river from the eastern approach to the bridge, nor am I aware of plans for one to be put in place at this time.

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