Australia

Although not specifically named as Millennium bridges, Melbourne has two very striking modern foot- and cycle- bridges across the river Yarra - the "Rainbow" bridge, and the much more recent Webb bridge.

"Rainbow" Bridge

This bridge is correctly known by the rather prosaic title of "River Yarra Pedestrian Bridge", but is more popularly referred to as the "Rainbow" bridge on account of the arch over the central span. Despite its space-age appearance, the bridge is in fact 17 years old - built by Cox Carmichael Whitford in 1989. This interesting bridge links Flinders Street Station with the Southgate Centre on the Southbank. The bridge crosses the river diagonally, reaching the south side somewhat downstream. Each of the three spans is offset from the other. The central span rises to quite a pronounced crest, and is spanned by the central arch which is aligned obliquely to the deck. A cafe nestles under the deck adjacent to the southern pier. Incidentally, a Google search revealed that "crossing the Rainbow Bridge" is a euphemism amongst pet-owners for the death of a favoured pooch or moggie.

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Webb Bridge

This remarkable bridge crosses the lower end of the River Yarra in Melbourne, connecting the Southbank Promenade and the Docklands Park. The present structure replaces a short-lived railway bridge and was designed by the architects Denton Corker Marshall  and artist Robert Owen  and constructed by Ove Arup. The project was started in 2001; the finished bridge was floated in and installed in one piece in the space of two hours, one day in 2003 and opened to the public on October 2nd of the same year.

The design of the bridge was inspired by an aboriginal eel-trap. Towards the southern end, the deck is roofed by a series of steel hoops, the whole ending in a snake-like appendix with two bends as the deck drops down and round to the quayside, forming quite a tricky manoeuvre for cyclists and wheelchair users.  It takes an aerial photograph to really comprehend the shape. The bridge is particularly spectacular at night

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Fairfield Pipe Bridge

From the sublime to the ridiculous. Another unusual bridge in Melbourne is the Fairfield Pipe Bridge. This bridge, built in 1870 carries the gas pipe line over the River Yarra in Fairfield Park, one of three parks clustered along the river as it winds through the suburbs of Melbourne. The bridge is part of the Yarra River Trail for cyclists and pedestrians, although distinctly on the narrow side for cyclists.

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Cataract Gorge Bridges

My travels in Tasmania failed to discover anything striking in the way of modern bridges, but there are a couple of interesting suspension bridges over the Cataract Gorge at Launceston. One of the main attractions in Launceston, second city of Tasmania, is the Cataract Gorge along the River South Esk, close to the city centre with nature reserves and walking trails in addition to a pleasure park. The river has long been exploited for hydro-electric power, and  the Trevallyn Power Station is situated upstream.  Crossing the gorge are two dramatic suspension bridges, dating from the turn of the 19th century. The Alexandra Bridge just above the First Basin was opened in 1904 and has always been part of the public area.

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Above the Second Basin, an old power station at Duck Reach, the earliest municipal hydro-electric power station in Australia, lies abandoned but the building has been preserved to incorporate a small museum display. A suspension bridge for access to the power station has stood for most of the 20th century, but was twice destroyed by catastrophic floods (the river was very low when I visited). After the bridge was destroyed in the 1969 flood, it was finally rebuilt in 1995 to provide access for the public to the upper reaches of the gorge.

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