Walter Taylor Bridge
|Official name||Walter Taylor Bridge|
|Carries||Motor vehicles, pedestrians|
|Locale||Brisbane, Queensland, Australia|
|Total length||299.7 m|
|Longest span||182.9 m|
|Opened||14 February 1936|
The Walter Taylor Bridge is a heritage-listed suspension bridge crossing the Brisbane River between Indooroopilly and Chelmer in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. It is shared by motor traffic and pedestrians and is the only habitable bridge in the Southern Hemisphere.
The bridge is a similar design to the Hercilio Luz Bridge in Florianopolis, Brazil, with the truss carrying the bridge being above the roadway and meeting the cables at non-uniform heights. This means that the suspension cables actually form the top chord of the truss, and this configuration is known as the Steinman (after its inventor) or Florianopolis type.
The bridge is unique among Brisbane bridges in that the two towers of the bridge house residential accommodation, which were occupied until mid 2010 when the last members of the original tollmaster's family moved out. The Chelmer side of the bridge is bounded by a council park. A pontoon in this park was washed away in the 2011 flood, and has not yet been replaced (April 2013). The Walter Taylor Bridge is one of four bridges in close proximity to each other. The others are the Albert Bridge, Indooroopilly Railway Bridge, and the Jack Pesch Bridge.
The bridge was conceived, designed, built and funded by local visionary Walter Taylor, a contractor who lived in Graceville (adjacent to the suburb in Chelmer). Although there was a rail bridge to Indooroopilly and beyond to the northern suburbs of Brisbane, local residents were frustrated because there was no means by which cars could cross the river. Pedestrians had been able to cross the river on the 2 previous Albert Bridges from 1875–1893, and from 1895 until the opening of the Walter Taylor Bridge Construction work began in 1930.
The bridge is a suspension bridge and the support cables were actually surplus support cables used to hold up the incomplete halves of the Sydney Harbour Bridge during its construction. When the bridge opened it had the longest span of any suspension bridge in Australia.
The bridge was opened on 14 February 1936 by the Governor of Queensland, Sir Leslie Wilson, with the final cost (anchorage to anchorage) coming to ₤85,000. The bridge was operated by as a toll bridge until the 1960s, with a toll collection booth located at the Northern (Indooroopilly) end (see the video link below). During that time, the bridge was known as the "Indooroopilly Toll Bridge". It was operated by Indooroopilly Toll Bridge Limited, of which Taylor was a Director and Company Secretary, and listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. In its first full year it made a profit of £2581.
After Walter Taylor's death in 1955, the bridge was renamed the Walter Taylor Bridge in his honour in 1956.
- "INDOOROOPILLY BRIDGE TO BE OPENED TO-MORROW". The Courier-Mail (Brisbane, Qld. : 1933 - 1954) (Brisbane, Qld.: National Library of Australia). 13 February 1936. p. 19. Retrieved 9 August 2014.
- "Queensland Heritage Register: Walter Taylor Bridge". www.epa.qld.gov.au. Retrieved 2008-09-10.[dead link]
- Brisbane Past and Present: Walter Taylor Bridge
- Kim Stephens (6 November 2013). "Walter Taylor Bridge opens to the public". Brisbane Times (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 1 December 2013.
- Longhurst, Robert; William Douglas. The Brisbane River: A pictorial history. Brisbane: W.D. Incorporated Pty Ltd. p. 32. ISBN 0-646-34472-2.
- "Indooroopilly Toll Bridge". The Courier-Mail. 21 January 1938. p. 4.
- "Walter Taylor Bridge (entry 14956)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 5 July 2013.
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