The iconic (for Tasmania) Tasman Bridge is the main connection between the Eastern and Western Shores and a significant landmark of Hobart. I cross over the Tasman Bridge each weekday on my journey to work and back (aboard my motorised two-wheeler rather than by pedal power). I have cycled across it a handful of times, but I don’t really like to as the shared path on each side is super narrow and it always seems to be a sharp crosswind whipping up or down the Derwent River!
The bridge is most famous for the “Tasman Bridge Disaster” of 1975 when a large cargo ship collided with some of the central pillars, causing the bridge to collapse in the centre. Luckily it was a quiet Sunday night, but the accident still caused the deaths of twelve people. It also cut the main link between the Eastern and Western Shores causing many social issues (crime rose by 40% on the Eastern Shore after the accident).
Four cars drove over the gap that night, plunging into the Derwent River. Two cars stopped with their front wheels dangling dangerously over the edge! The timeless photo of Frank and Silvia Manley’s Holden HQ Monaro (an iconic Aussie muscle car) teetering on the edge is a piece of Tasmanian history.
As they drove home that night, somehow Frank managed to react in time to stop only inches away from death. With the front wheels hanging and the car grounded by the transmission case, both Frank and Silvia climbed from their vehicle and helped save the lives of other motorists by flagging them down before emergency services arrived. Frank still owns the car to this day! He put it in storage soon after the event and only brings it out for exhibitions and museum showings.
My pre-work pedal sometimes take me under the Hobart side of the bridge as the Interrcity Cycleway snakes it’s way along the riverside. I was in need of a relaxing recovery spin one morning last week, so on my way back I took the opportunity to snap off a quick photo for this challenge. It was a gloriously nippy Autumn morning! Oh and these days whenever a large ship needs to traverse under the bridge, they stop traffic for the duration just in case.