King Street BridgeEdit profile
The King Street Bridge takes King Street over the Yarra River in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The bridge continues south as an elevated viaduct, with the Crown Casino and Entertainment Complex built around it in later years.
The bridge was designed in 1959 by Utah Australia for the Country Roads Board, and constructed over the next two years, being opened on 12 April 1961. It was of a welded, deck-girder, suspended-span construction with spans up to 160 feet (49 m) long.
Soon after completion, on 10 July 1962, one span collapsed under the weight of a 47 ton semi-trailer, though the weight was within the bridge limits. The failure was due to brittle fracture on a very cold Melbourne winter day. The south end of the bridge has been undergoing differential settlement between the approach ramps resting on fill, and the suspended section supported by bored piles. The embarrassing incident was widely satirised at the time; most notably by the Melbourne TV clowns Zig and Zag and was the inspiration for a Spike Milligan radio comedy.
As originally constructed the bridge had 8 lanes across the Yarra River - 2 through lanes in each direction connecting King Street to Kingsway, in addition to 2 lanes on each side that connected to Yarra Bank Road. At the south end north facing on and off ramps connected to Whiteman Street, and the running lanes from the viaduct descend to ground level, with tram route 55 emerging from City Road to the median strip. In later years the development of Crown Casino closed Yarra Bank Road, and the bridge ramps were connected to the basement carpark of the complex.
Viewed from the west
The elevated section of Kingsway headed north through the Crown Casino complex
Looking south to the end of the elevated section of Kingsway