Wednesday, 20 May 2015

The Three Bridges - 3

The Sydney Harbour Bridge has 8 lanes for vehicular traffis, the direction of some being altered depending upon morning or evening peak. There are two tracks for trains, one in each direction, which are on the western edge of the structure. There used to be only six vehicular lanes, until the late 1950s when the two eastern-most tram lanes were converted to cars and buses, when the state government, in its immense wisdom, did away with trams. On the western side, next to the trains, there is a dedicated lane for bicycles. On the eastern side, there is a dedicated lane for pedestrians.

There is both a toll for crossing the structure, and a BridgeClimb. Time-of-Day tolling is in effect with tolls ranging from $2 to $4, in an attempt to smooth out the 43 million crosses poer annum. Tolls are collected electronically, via an e-tag. Tolls are levied only for the trip south. The Bridge Climb is a raving little money spinner. To climb the span at dawn on a week-end is $358. Full climbs take 3.5 hours, including preparation. Cameras are not allowed.

The Tyne Bridge is two lanes in each direction, and from a traffic-service PoV, it appears small and cramped, which goes a way to explaining the six other bridges in close proximity, although one of them, at least, is a pedestrian-only bridge. It is used as a city-icon i n a similar way to the bridge in Sydney, displaying the Olympic Rings and fire-works. There is no toll for crossing the Tyne Bridge, nor is there a "bridge climb".

The Hell Gate Bridge is a railway bridge which started with two tracks for passenger trains, and two tracks for freight trains. Of the four original tracks,one was decommissioned in the 1970s. It is not a bridge whose use and location captures the imagination, except for its name, perhaps. There is no specific toll as such, and no bridge-climb.

The eastern most lane is a pedestrian only walkway, which overlooks the Opera House, Sydney Cove, and Circular Quay. The SE pylon contains a lookout which provides a wonderful view, and cameras are encouraged! The walkway is heavily secured with barbed-wire. This started as a form of self-protection as too many people were taking swan-dives from the structure to farewell this troublesome world. However, nowadays it is more a security method in case of concerted terrorist attacks. Security guards patrol the walkway.

Finally, the SHB has a dedicated bike lane. No pedestrians permitted. This image was taken from the southern most point of Milson's Point railway station.


Joe said...

The bridge climb does cost a lot of money Julie. I tried it once but after climbing just passed the first tower a lightning storm developed and everybody was ushered back in a controlled evacuation. Our money was refunded.

diane b said...

It is a great icon of Sydney. My girls threw in together to take me on a Bridge climb for my 70th birthday. It was quite exhilarating.

William Kendall said...

I assume the Sydney bridge climb is not quite that expensive at other times of the day and week.

Hell Gate, if I recall correctly, is thus named because of the strength of the currents in the water at the time.

Joan Elizabeth said...

We rented in KIRRIBILLI for a while and used to take that walk over the bridge many evenings to meet up with my husband. You photo brought that memory back.

They had to work for many many years to get bridge climb approved. I guess the investment is now paying off.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

Speaking of suicides, I wonder why the San Francisco Bridge doesn't have guards spanning it's length?