Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Monday, March 31, 2008

The bridges of Wollondilly Shire are closing down.

There is a small bridge just off Douglas Park Road, on Morton Park Road, which has been closed. I drove over this bridge several times in February, and was concerned with its condition then. It was a dodgy-looking bridge then. Now it is closed.

OK - Good thing to close an unsafe bridge, you might say.

The interesting thing is that this local road, in the Douglas Park area, is in a direct line with the seriously compromised Twin Bridges, on the F5 Freeway (Hume Highway). I say "seriously compromised" but the RTA officials would dispute that. They are entitled to their point of view. I should just settle for saying these Bridges have been "seriously reinforced - at the expense of BHP Billiton".So why did BHP Billiton pay for that bridge repair? Because clearly the RTA was concerned to protect the Twin Bridges from possible damage, because of subsidence, caused by coal mining by BHP Billiton just to the north of the Twin Bridges.
And that takes us back to the Morton Park Drive bridge. It is just north of the Twin Bridges - in a direct line. The Wollondilly Council has closed the bridge on Morton Park Road, because it says it cannot afford to pay to repair it. Why does it not send the bill to BHP Billiton, as the RTA has done?

And this is not the only case of a bridge in that area which has been closed. There is an historic bridge, called the Maldon Suspension Bridge, which is now closed. It is partially dismantled. The official story of this bridge is as follows:"Spanning the picturesque Nepean Gorge, the Maldon Suspension Bridge is one of only a few true suspension bridges in New South Wales. It was built in 1903 to replace Harvey’s Crossing, a stone causeway situated a couple of hundred metres upstream.
The Maldon bridge differs from the normal suspension bridge in that the main cables leading from the towers are carried upwards to an anchorage in the sandstone cliffs above the bridge instead of downwards to ground level. It also has unique curved timber approaches. A bushfire in January 1939 severely damaged the bridge and the original timber towers were replaced with identical steel ones. Maldon Suspension Bridge was closed to vehicle traffic with the opening of the F5 Freeway and the new Picton Road from Wilton in 1980." Macarthur Tourism website.

1 comment:

Denis Wilson said...

I received a comment inquiring if Peonies could be sent to the USA for a wedding on 6 September. It was posted on an old bulletin, and have replied there, but I am posting the reply here as well.

Hi Ann

Best wishes for your wedding on 6 September. Unfortunately, that date is too early for my Peonies. My Tree Peonies (which are not great-lasting flowers anyway) do not start here until late September. The herbaceous Peonies (the good ones for cut flowers) are not going properly until mid-October.

You could try Marg Hansen of Pinerise Peonies , but as she is further south than me, her season is likely to be further behind. But she is a professional grower (I am not) and she might be able to help you, or know someone else who could.

Best wishes.

Denis Wilson