Saturday, June 23, 2018

The Bridge - The river is almost spanned.

The following photos were taken two days ago and, unlike the previous sets, were shot in the late afternoon as opposed to early morning.
This was deliberate and was done so that the structure, now with the majority of its girders in place, would be lit by the sun rather than be in shadow.

All photos enlarge to full-size when clicked.

We start with two taken from the southern end of the existing bridge, where the pedestrian steps from the roadway below join the footpath on the bridge itself. The first photo looks south and the second looks north.
Note that the footpath sections are being installed.

The next two are looking north and show that the spanning of the Clarence River is nearly complete.
Only a few girders remain to be fitted and, once done, it would be possible to cross the river by walking the full length on the girders, even without the road-base sections in place.

I walked along the highway to a point on the northern side where I could get a decent shot of the arch in order to give an idea of its length and height when compared to the existing crossing.
It really is an enormous structure.

Two shots, below, showing the 'U'-shaped pre-stressed girders.
These are manufactured on-site, in a rather large shed on the northern side of the river, and are installed by a crane using a massive sling.
Note that each girder weighs 161.5 tonnes.
At each span, therefore, there are 646 tonnes in girders alone which those massive columns have to support.
The girders crossing the river can only be lifted into place when the wind-strength is below 6 knots; those on the land approaches could be placed in winds up to 12 knots.

Below, a view of the "Pi" structure which I took back in January.
It looks a bit different now that it is doing its job!

Finally, a view of most of the bridge.
Not long now before the Clarence has a new span across it.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

That first day at school....

It is February 1986 and my daughter, five years and two months of age, is in her brand-new uniform and ready to walk across the adjacent school oval and spend her first full day at Monash Primary school.

And at the end of that first school year, there she was (far right, front row), an experienced schoolie, ready for the annual summer holidays before starting her second year in the ACT's education system.

Just looking at those photos makes me feel very creaky, indeed!!

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Bridge update; girders across Yamba Road.

I had to drive across to Maclean this morning and whilst the traffic was stopped at the junction of Yamba Road and the Pacific Highway I managed to grab these quick shots. (Click on image for full-size).
I keep a small camera (Panasonic Lumix) in my car for just such occasions.

The enormous size of this structure can be appreciated by looking at the vehicles on the existing bridge in the background (second photo).
In another year or so they will many times higher....up there on top of the new concrete girders.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Bridge progress update.

As mentioned back in my January post, here is the most recent series of photos on the construction of the new highway bridge over the Clarence River at Harwood.
These were taken last Saturday morning, under a grey and threatening sky.
All photos enlarge to full-size when clicked.

This is a huge structure. It's only as we see the girders being placed that the enormity of it becomes clear.
The size of the columns and cross-beams can be gauged by the men working on top doing the form-work for where the girders will be keyed to the beams.


Starting from the south side of the bridge - and looking southwards - the following sequence moves towards the centre of the existing bridge.
Columns are now starting to rise from the piers sunk in the river.


The cylindrical steel form-work for the construction of the concrete columns.


On the northern side of the river the girders are being positioned and are getting closer to the northern bank of the Clarence.


Finally, a few shots of the panorama from a vantage-point along the riverbank towards the sugar factory.

Soon the girders will be marching across the river, so my next update will most likely be later this month.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Sums it all up, really.

A friend of mine, who is very handy with the drawing pencil, produces the occasional political cartoon.
He uses the pen-name "Fulcrum Frottage" and can be found on Facebook under that heading.

His latest comment is reproduced below and sums up all there is to say about the current situation.
What else is there to say?

Sunday, January 7, 2018

It's 2018 - Welcome to the first diary entry for the year.

It is several month's (October 2017) since I last updated the progress of the enormous new bridge which will carry the new dual-carriageway Pacific Highway across the Clarence River, some 9kms up-river from Yamba.

So yesterday morning at around 7 o'clock, on what was a beautiful clear summer's morn, I headed off and took the following series of pix.
Refer back to the October and August 2017 entries to follow the progress of the construction.
All images enlarge to full-size when clicked.

The above photos were taken from the same spot as two previous shots in October and August and look northward across the river. It is evident that all the piling work has been completed, the concrete piers and beams have been done for the northern approach and the construction of the piers in the river itself is well in hand.

Work on the southern approach has continued but emphasis has been on the northern side of the river.
Here on the southern side the concrete pilings are under construction.

The work which has progressed on the north side is most impressive, with the concrete columns and cross-beams now at the river's edge. In the distance you can see that installation of the huge longitudinal U-beams has commenced. These beams - each weighing over 100 tonnes - are manufactured on-site.

The steel brackets which project from the top of each column are used to anchor the form-work for the concrete cross-beams, which weigh 180 tonnes. The brackets, along with the stainless-steel ferrules into which they are bolted, are removed after the work is completed and the holes then filled with a composite mix.

The existing bridge - which will continue in use for local traffic (and which is being refurbished so that it will last for another 50+ years) - is dwarfed by one of the new "pi" structures.
(As soon as I saw the shape I was instantly reminded of the mathematical symbol for pi.)

I'll have another update in March.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

December - Rounding out the year.

The last activities for the year......which were certainly more pleasant than what happened on November 7th.!

December the 25th. was hot and steamy so a planned luncheon of cold turkey, ham and salads, finished with a traditional plum pudding, was right on the ball.

Venette was the hostess and we each brought part of the meal, so the responsibility for catering was shared amongst we five.

The afternoon kicked off at midday with drinks and nibbles and by 3:30 PM, when we were relaxing after clearing the table, an approaching storm-front, and a warning from the bureau of possible hail, brought the festivities to an end.

It was a lovely Christmas Day.



On the 10th. of December we had a musical evening, under the "baton" of Michele (of Michele Saunders Music Studio - my teacher), with three of us on keyboards & organ and vocalist Connor Wilmore leading the singing.
It was a great night, with everyone joining in and was capped off by the service of drinks, a delicious buffet served up by Venette, Ben and Graham and a dessert of the lightest creamy sponge cakes in the world provided by Gina.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Dramas and excitement we didn't really need.

The last thing that you need to happen a month or so out from Christmas is a house fire....and that is exactly what we suffered on November 7th. - my daughter's birthdate and also the date of this year's Melbourne Cup.
So that is a date firmly embedded into our memories for evermore!

Fortunately, the fire itself - and local damage from the heat - was confined to one bedroom and the immediate external area outside the window............

However, the rest of our home was severely affected by smoke and the subsequent soot deposits, which were carried right through to the front of the building. Ceilings and upper wall areas were black.........

On the Tuesday afternoon the specialist cleaning company arrived and over the next three weeks they cleaned the soot off every surface they could see, including individual items on bench-tops, in cupboards, crockery, cutlery, food packages in the pantry, framed pictures on walls......everything was wiped down and placed back in the cleaned location then covered with plastic........

The job that they did was amazing, leaving painted surfaces fifty shades of grey (apparently the soot leaves a microscopic "etching" in the paint surface) but ready to be primed and painted when the restoration work takes place.

Right now our home is uninhabitable, with the living room and main bedroom looking like a furniture warehouse or ready for a garage sale!
But everything is operating....fridge, freezer, washing machine, etcetera....and the computer equipment in my study/office is fine.

All we are now doing is being patient; it is unlikely that building works will start before the Christmas holidays due to the annual summer shutdown.
We are very fortunate in that we are renting a vacant, furnished, house for sale within the resort and which is less than 100 metres from our place.
The view from the front verandah is very relaxing and with a nor-easterly breeze, most pleasant on a hot afternoon.
Panoramic view from three separate photos.

On a final note, the cause of the fire was most probably a short-circuit in either a bedside radio or the power board into which it was plugged.

Every cloud has a silver lining - we were both out of the house when the fire occurred (about 10:00 AM) and the neighbours had the fire out before the brigade arrived.

You can't ask for more than that in a situation like this.