(AP) – Story Bridge Turns 75

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    Story Bridge Turns 75

    The sun rises over Brisbane City as the golden light warms the Story Bridge.
    Photographed from the Valley side of Brisbane City on the bridges 75th Birthday – 6th July 2015.

    – Fotoman 617.
    – Schneider 90mm f/5.6 Lens.
    – Schneider Center Spot Filter.
    – Fuji Velvia 50 120 Film.
    – F22 @ 1 Sec.

    Capture date: 6th July 2015
    Brisbane City & the Story Bridge, QLD

    About the Story Bridge

    Construction on the bridge began on 24 May 1935, with the first sod being turned by the then Premier of Queensland, William Forgan Smith. Components for the bridge were fabricated in a purpose-built factory at Rocklea. Work sometimes continued 24 hours per day. The bridge has only one pier on the northern bank but two piers on the lower southern bank, one to bear the weight (the main pier) and, further to the south, one to prevent the bridge from twisting (the anchor pier). There was no need for an anchor pier on the northern bank as the bridge was anchored into schist cliff face.

    The major challenge in constructing the bridge was the southern foundations that went 40 metres below ground level. It was not possible to excavate to that level as water from the level would rapidly seep in. So a pneumatic caisson technique had to be used. As men were working under pressures of up to 4 times normal air pressure, a decompression period of almost 2 hours was needed at the end of each shift to avoid the bends. An on-site air lock hospital successfully treated the 65 cases of the bends that occurred. On 28 October 1939 the gap between the two sides was closed.

    A concrete decking was then laid, covered by a Trinidad pitch topping. The bridge was painted and sodium lighting was installed. The bridge approaches were also prepared.

    Four men died during the construction of the bridge.


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