Melbournians will recognise their Westgate Bridge. The Westgate Bridge is a pretty long bridge to get cars and others vehicles over a fairly narrow part of the Yarra River. Rumour has it that it was built to be longer to compete with Sydney Harbour Bridge.
It certainly is long, spanning a total of 2,582 metres with 336 metres over the river. It sits 58 metres above the river. This makes it twice as long as its Sydney counterpart. Perhaps the rumour was true. What else could explain its length?
The Westgate has a sad history with the death of 35 construction workers when part of the bridge collapsed on the 15th October, 1970. A memorial now stands close be to remember those workers. Construction resumed in 1972 and it was finally completed in 1978. Investigations revealed two factors which caused its collapse: the structural design and an unusual method of construction. Remnants of the bridge can be found at Monash University as a reminder to students about the risks associated with construction work.
The bridge provides us with a beautiful sight as we drive across it. Either towards the city or away from the city there's always something to be seen on the river below or in the bay. At night time the street lights provide a beautiful fairy town for all to see. It's a pity there's no opportunity for pedestrians to walk across to really enjoy the sights. Thankfully peak hour traffic gives us a chance to drive slowly over the bridge to really enjoy the views.