Troubled Bridge

Last Friday, work began in earnest to replace Victoria’s Johnson Street Bridge with the removal of the railway span to make room for a new car bridge. I had only a few minutes, in the pouring rain, to take some pictures as they made the final cut prior to lifting the old span onto an enormous barge to take away for recycling. I missed all the drama of the bridge suspended on the end of the crane, and so on. I did get a few pictures that are interesting to me and will be sharing them over the next few days.

Today I post crops from just one image. There were few places that I could take pictures from, and with the 50mm prime lens, not a lot of options once at those locations. However, the 5Dii allows for some pretty radical crops that allow a story to be told, even if not at the highest fidelity, and so that is what you are getting today. The guy in the mask facing the camera is using a torch to make what I think was the last cut before the span is lifted. On the middle beam the black line of a cut can be seen. The nearest beam is supporting the road bridge which will not be removed until the new one is operational.

You can find my earlier posts about the bridge here. It will be much missed as a significant landmark on Victoria’s waterfront.

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Canon EOS 5Dii, Canon 50mm/f1.4 lens, ISO250, f5.6, 1/200th

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15 thoughts on “Troubled Bridge

  1. I really really wanted to get down there and do some work myself in this regard. What an event! Love this series of images you’ve posted here, my friend, it’s really the beginning of the end of one of our most beloved icons in the city. I hope to have a chance to be there when they start of the main road piece. In the meantime, I’ve got your great work to view and enjoy! 🙂

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    • Hey, thanks Toad. Glad you are enjoying these pictures. I wish I had more time and was better prepared, but in this case something is better than nothing. Another one is in the can for tomorrow.

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  2. Hi ehpem, I’m just catching up on my blog reading this morning. I had been wondering what the current status of the Johnson St. bridge was, so really appreciate your updates over the past few days – and the photos, which are good, even if you did miss some of the details of the operation you might have wished to capture. Thanks so much.

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    • That is so true. I hope we Victorians can become as attached to the replacement as we are to this old bridge, but it may take 50 years for that to happen. If its built to last that long.

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  3. This is the start of a very interesting series. I hope you will be able to continue photographing the renovation project. It’s always a little sad to see such grand old structures come down, but we do live in a modern society. This bridge looks like it was built to last a hundred years.

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    • Hi Ken – I expect to be taking more photos as the project passes. It’s usually a bit out of my way, so there will be an element of serendipity. For instance, the only reason I was down here was to get a new old lens (a 40 year old Nikkor 2.8/24mm) from a second hand camera store, which meant I had my camera with me. The car radio told me this was going on. So, I grabbed a few minutes for a few photos – there were a lot of cameras down there. The one viewing spot that showed the torch sparks the best was taken constantly, but I turned my eye to the surroundings a bit, as you will see.

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    • And, it was built to last a hundred years, and more, and could have with more regular and thorough maintenance I suspect. It made it to 88 years. The road bridge will probably make it to 90 before its replacement is done.

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    • Hi maenamor – in that case they may well mean more to you than my other viewers, or me. I have worked a lot around construction/demolition sites in years gone by but never before a bridge, let alone a landmark like this one.

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