Brisbane is in lockdown, and one of the few things we are allowed to do is go out for exercise. So we set off yesterday to have a walk across the Ted Smout Bridge – a 3 km span across Bramble Bay. It is a 3 lane highway both ways that links the north of Brisbane to the Redcliffe Peninsula. At present, we are only allowed to drive within 10 km of home and only essential workers can go to work. Those who can are working from home. Many are homeschooling their children. Not many people are out for a drive.
The normally busy highway was only being sparsely used, we walked past just a few walkers and cyclists. One thoughtful father had his children on their bikes.
In case you are forming a picture of us dodging the traffic, let me clarify that the council has provided an ample concrete pathway built into the bridge, with two lanes for cyclists and one for walkers. From this vantage point above the waters, we could see far out to sea in the east, north to the high rises of the wealthy in Woody Point and Redcliffe, and south to the cranes unloading containers at the port of Brisbane — about 30 km in every direction. The view north and south usually isn’t this good. The air is clear today.
It led me to think of what it must be like in non-covid lockdown times when thousands of cars and trucks are thundering past and those doing exercise are getting deep lungfuls of nourishing CO2 and NOX. I doubt if that issue was considered when the pathway was built — more worried about cost, I guess.
However, a walkway/cycleway was provided and we should be grateful for that. And a lot of effort was put into preserving the heritage of the original bridge. The fishing/maintenance landing halfway across is constructed of some the original timbers dating back to 1935 when the original bridge was opened. Note the art deco features — my wife’s uncle was one of the builders.
We didn’t see too many Teslas about — just ours. And that led me to think of the future, a future hopefully not too far away when the vehicles on the bridge are electric, and although there will still be a fair bit of dust, there won’t be any fumes. When getting out into the fresh air will really be … getting out into the fresh air.
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