Golden Gate! Sydney Harbour! Indooroopilly! Three of the world’s most iconic bridges.
The Walter Taylor Bridge fka The Indooroopily Bridge aka indro bridge spans the width of the Brisbane river, connecting the suburbs of Chelmer and Indooroopilly. Locally it’s known for being a bottleneck and a fucking nightmare to cross in peak hour.
The Brisbane City Council offers free tours of the bridge through the greeters program. After submitting an enquiry, I got hooked up with Terry and his lovely wife Jenni. Despite being scum of the earth/a north-sider Terry was a very capable tour guide.
Let’s get some of Terry’s boring bridge facts out of the way:
- The Bridge was built in 1936.
- It’s suspension cables are leftover from the construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
- The name was changed from Indooroopilly to Walter Taylor to honour the bridge’s contractor after his death. (This disappointing news robbed me of a tirade against mediocre white men and their hubristic desire to slap their name on everything.)
- The toll takers and their families were permitted to live in the bridge’s tower accomodation in perpetuity.
blah blah blah, let’s get to the good stuff. This window.
Terry lit up as he recounted the story of the bridge’s final tenant. In 2010 the last remaining tenant vacated the northern tower accomodation when his 300kg frame was crane lifted out this window in a medical emergency. This was not news to me because I WAS THERE MATE. I got caught in the bridge traffic travelling from UQ to my shift at the Pizza Hut Call Centre. It has to be one of the weirder calls I’ve had to make to an employer “I’m gonna be late yep uh huh you heard me right a fat man is being crane lifted out of a bridge that i need to cross ha no he is not a troll he is a human man.” Terry has his own connection to the event having met the father of the crane driver just last month. Good for you, Terry!
DO take this tour if you:
- like climbing stairs
- like spitting on cars from a height
- have spent years wondering about who lived in the bridge ever since a substitute teacher in year 2 said her grandparents lived in it once
- will do anything that is free
DON’T take this tour if you:
- get bored easily
- have better things to do
- have money to spend on better activities