There at sunrise, waiting for the gates to open!

Finally, after a number of false starts the Outer Harbor Greenway's Bicycle & Pedestrian Overpass at South Road is now open for business. Wendy and her T2T colleagues were on hand for this morning's low-key 'ribbon-cutting'. Actually it was just a snipping of the zip-ties holding the gate closed - there will be a more formal opening with the Transport Minister at a later date!

Wendy (L) and the T2T crew. Yep - it's a 'go slow' detour, in place while folk are still working on the railing, lights etc... There may be a few instances when bike riders are asked to briefly dismount and walk over coming weeks as the railings are installed but essentially it's now fully accessible between the western entrance kerb ramp at Day Trc (just off Queen St) and the long eastern ramp down to Coglin St!

Here are a few pics from the day:

Unfortunately the commemorative budget did not extend to champagne, but despite the early hour Giulio from WestsideBUG brought along some tasty nibbles!

Getting out of bed early conferred 'first over' honours!

#1 - looking pleased with myself! (photo by T2T).

Cyclist #2 looked pleased with himself too!

Bicyclista #3 looked ever-so-slightly bleary-eyed - but even happier!

Rider #4 gets the over-the-top 'eager-cheeriest' prize!

Giulio gives the bridge a go - the Engineer's critical gaze!

The first pedestrian to use the new bridge - 'Congratulations Sir!'
Bicyclista #6. As Rob says at the WestsideBUG f/b Group - 'It's a game-changer!')

Mark was #7 and first to arrive from the East (city-side). Top of the Bridge appears well-lit if slightly 'prison yard-like' (times we live in it seems...)

Yes - the fences are tall - but it feels OK. Good lighting it seems!

Better up here than down there though!

Centre are the 6-lane 'lowered roadways' (not yet open). Bridge deck appears to be checker-plate steel and non-slip.

The long ramp descends to the east, all the way to Coglin and then West Street.

Eastern ramp with the West Street pedestrian crossing in the distance.

There's also a nice 'dog-leg' ramp on the eastern side down to McInnes Street (this pic taken before today's opening - the kerb ramp is now installed and complete).

McInnes Street access ramp.

Nice access-ramp at West Street. The West Street railway crossing is behind me.

Access ramp at the West Street rail crossing.

West Street railway crossing.

The path from the West Street access ramp and rail crossing up to the Chief Street Bridge is still closed because the pathway beyond(through to East Street) is yet to be built!

Pathway West to Chief Street Bridge (and East Street)

Thirteen years of waiting - yep, we're happy!

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Even if I'm only cyclist #1,111 over the bridge I'll still be happy it's open.

Secret info - just for you Jilden! (Whispering) - 1,111 is the secret winning number in BISA's South Road Overpass Lottery...

Top of the Bridge appears well-lit if slightly 'prison yard-like' (times we live in it seems...)

I like the mesh screens. Far less 'prison-like' than the rows of bars as seen on the level crossing gate, and it should be more effective at every aspect of its job.

let's hope the mesh screens arnt too wind proof. and the bridge is bolted down correctly.

sorry had to take a slight dig there.

I'm not sure who you're supposed to be having a dig at (T2T Alliance? DPTI? The former state Labor government?) but you might be interested to know it is a completely different bridge design.

Each span is one structure, unlike the tram overpass where there are separate spans for each track, the tram station and the shared path. 

'To Engineer is Human' by Henry Petroski. All of his very interesting books are in the library system. Worth reading - I found myself much more forgiving of engineers after doing so! Dave is correct - I think they've learned something from the 'wobbly' structure at Black Forest!

I don't think there were any lessons learned from that in the design of the T2T railway bridge, because the railway bridge was already in place before that failure even occurred!

Dave, You may well be correct with regard to 'lessons learned' - who knows. The Black Forest tram+bike bridge was all built at the same time (although the tramway did open first I recall). The key issue for me seems to be the fact that the bike span was a separate structure from the tram span and sat in its own cradle and on its own rubber bearing. It was also the section that was attached directly to the safety-screen 'sail' - apparently the thing that caused the span to rock itself off its rubber bearings. Am I correct? This was what I was referring to as the 'wobbly structure'.  

The problem with the tram bridge tacked on cycleway was that the 'engineer" who sketched up the addition didn't understand how the rubber bearings worked. So he halved a W shaped tram beam and used bearings from that design to support a span that had asymmetric loads applied. Having looked at the bridge after failure it was immediately obvious to me that there was no lateral restraint in those bearings. This sort of failure due to human laziness will turn up again sometime in the future because it's human nature to be over confident! One just hopes that no-one is under the span when it gives way, like a foot bridge that collapsed during installation in Miami recently, with tragic consequences.

Well that would have (hopefully) been a valuable learning experience for that engineer (he or she) at least eh...

There were no lessons to learn from the Black Forest bridge by that time.

The T2T railway bridge was designed and built in 2016, the three spans (including the fittings for the mesh screens) were lifted into place early over 8-12 January 2017.

At this point in time the state government had no idea that there was anything wrong with the bridge at Black Forest. That changed on 18 January 2017, by which time the new railway bridge had been installed for a week and the final stages of laying the new tracks were underway. 

We can speculate as to why the different design was chosen, but it was certainly not due to the errors with the Black Forest bridge which were still unknown by that point. Political pressure to throw a few bones to Arrium is far more likely to have been the driver for the different design of the most visible bridge on the T2T project.

First crossing completed this morning! It will be useful even while the bricklayers finish their job behind the "cyclist dismount" barrage.


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