Sunday, July 19, 2009

bligh's bridgebane blunder

Is it just me, or is Brisbane completely over-run by bridges? Since leaving the city to move to Sydney, the utter chaos that is "bridgebane" has become more and more apparent. Last time I flew into the city, looking out the window, I was not impressed by the view - it just looks messy. Don't get me wrong - I'm still fond of Brisbane, it has much to offer - it's just that the bridges no longer seem to be beneficial to the city.

The latest eye-sore is the Kurilpa bridge: a foot-bridge connecting the Gallery of Modern Art to Tank St, costing $63 million. I'm confused: I believe there is a bridge serving the same purpose approximately 100m away? God forbid pedestrians should have to walk that extra distance. Not only that, but apparently the bridge designed specifically for pedestrians opens up directly onto Tank St, where there are no footpaths. Kind of defeats the purpose, right? But these are not the only problems. Oh no. The bridge was also reportedly built 2m lower than originally intended, creating an increased risk of collision with high vehicles. This is made even more risky by the fact that the bridge is one of the first ever "tensegrity" bridges - meaning that it is held up by a series of cable networks rather than concrete (or something along those lines. Forgive me, i'm not an engineer). This is all very well - until there is a collision. It's been said that the tensegrity design is far more vulnerable to structural failure. The opening scenes of the latest Harry Potter movie spring to mind...

Of course, the government has counter-arguments to all these factors. But even if you agree with what they have to say, you have to admit, the thing is damn ugly.

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