Building Commonwealth Bridge – McKie Collection

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Posted by ONCC | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 29-09-2014

Please find attached images taken by a fellow I met years ago by the name of Ian Cooper. Ian told me he was visiting Canberra from Tasmania. He was drawn from his stroll through Civic by the bellow of a two-stroke diesel coming from the Lake Burley Griffin construction site area. He thus walked in the direction of the sound and soon found the source, a Le Tourneau-Westinghouse C-Pull scraper powered by a two-stroke 8V71N General Motors diesel. The 8V71N is known as ‘The Bird Scarer’. The scraper operator noticed Ian’s interest in the machine and decided to put on a show for him. This is one very brave man. This type of machine has no steering wheel as such. It is pointed into the preferred direction of travel via a toggle switch mounted on the dash fascia panel. The operator hangs on to a horizontally mounted bar on the panel aptly referred to as the ‘panic bar’. From the toggle switch, steering is actuated by a maze of electric contacts and breakers along with pinions and ring gears situated in the hitch. With all that water flying around he was surely tempting fate.

I think you will also find the images of the bridges, old and new interesting. Apparently, the large mobile crane pictured working on Commonwealth Avenue Bridge fell over.

I was born in Canberra in 1960 and have seen a lot of changes. I have been around the world, but Canberra, Narrabundah (Narrahollywood) to be precise, is the best place to live, bar none.

Graeme McKie
Sept 2014

Commonwealth Ave bridge looking towards Civic

Commonwealth Ave bridge with crane

Commonwelth Ave bridge from present Regatta Point Site

Kings Ave bridge

Previous Commonwealth Ave bridge

Side view old Commonwealth Ave bridge

Tournapull#1 (Small)

Tournapull#2 (Small)

Tournapull#4 (Small)

View looking towards old Foreign Affairs and Trade building

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