Saturday, September 29, 2012

Appreciation (47) – A bridge too far??

Appreciation (47) – A bridge too far??

Torrey Orton

Sept. 29, 2012


In the middle of nowhere…


The brilliantly new warning sign said "Narrow bridge…Do not pass…one lane only" with the standard converging diagrammatic in case you missed the meaning. There should have been a real old wood from top to pilings one track country bridge on the slightly renovated country track (dirt all the way with more or less grading to distinguish the in-use parts). Instead, in the middle of nowhere there appeared down the hillside run of the track we were walking a bridged creek - newly paved, edged and cambered. And what a bridge: two real enough lanes that farm trucks could pass each other at the same time, if they could get there, or leave once arrived; concrete and steel from abutments to shiny traffic barring guard rails along its edges.

The track leading down to the bridge could carry a road grader and a half, but the track up the other side dwindled quickly to the remnants of a gold field era cart track, now rutted and fallen tree-blocked and barely micro size four wheel driveable, leaving the tree aside. The classic once was a road that now is to nowhere. Said shiny signage actually was on this remnant track side of the bridge, not the graded stretch we had in initially come down…a track you can now see couldn't have supported any traffic for the sign to inform. Amazing.

It left us wondering what was in somebody's mind to not merely repair but totally replace the original crossing…replaced with a structure of such monumental wholeness that no imaginable rain could wash it away (which is probably what happened to its precursor…an unimaginable rain that is, whose remnant evidence lined the narrow gorge spanned by the bridge). We thought maybe it was a requirement of someone to keep fire access open, the countryside being that Brisbane Ranges scrub which has often gone in a flash, though not recently in this area (Spring Creek). What were they thinking?? Whatever, its realisation has been complete. One could only dream of such efficient road renovation in more populated areas.

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