COMMENCEMENT OF THE GLEBE ISLAND
YESTERDAY afternoon a party of gentlemen, amongst whom were the Minister for Works, Captain Martin- dale, R E., and Captain Ward, R.E., proceeded to Pyrmont, to witness the driving of the first pile of the bridge that will connect that suburb with Glebe Island. The bridge will cross Johnston's Bay a few feet to the north of where the steam-punts are now running. It was intended that the bridge should have been completed in time for the opening of the abattoirs, but this was chiefly prevented by the delay that occurred in passing the Estimates for this year, the sum of £20,000 having been voted for the bridge, including the cost of making the road through Pyr- mont. Designs for the bridge were prepared by the Engineer for Harbours, Mr. E. O. Moriarty,
and the work was contracted for in July by Mr. W. Tyler for £15,825. The bridge is to be completed in twelve months from the time of signing the contract ; a commencement would have been made sooner, but for the hindrances which the wet weather presented to obtaining the timber. The cost of the road through Pyrmont was about £2000, and as only some £600 or£700 will be required to complete the approaches to the bridge, a consider- able portion of the amount voted will remain unex- pended.
The Glebe Island Bridge will, in its general con- struction and appearance, resemble the Pyrmont Bridge; it will be shorter by seventy feet, and its width will be rather less. From the opposite shore the length of the bridge will be 1045 feet 5 inches; the width will be twenty-eight feet over all, the roadway will be twenty feet wide and the footpath three and half feet wide. The supports will consist of bays of six ironbark piles, four of them upright, and the two outside ones spurs; the bays will be thirty-eight feet apart. A saving in copper and in piles is effected in having so great a width between the bays. The piles, which will be fastened together by horizontal, diagonal, and transverse, braces, will be driven down to the rock, through a depth of from eighteen to twenty-one feet of sand, and three or four feet of blueish clay. The deepest part of the bay will require the piles to be sixty-two feet in length. All the superstructure will also be of ironbark, excepting the hand-rail, which will be formed of parallel bars of iron; the roadway
will be covered with a mixture of tar and sand, which has proved very serviceable on the Pyrmont Bridge. There will be swivel arrangement to allow of vessels
passing up and down the bay, but this will be fixed close to the Pyrmont shore, instead of the centre of the bridge, so as to allow of the bridge being tied to- gether more securely; the width of the opening will
be forty feet.
The first pile, which was one of the uprights of the first bay from the Pyrmont side, was successfully driven. The pile-driving machine is worked by steam, and the weight of the monkey is twenty-two
cwt. The piles are sheathed with copper, which will
reach two feet into the mud. It is intended, on the completion of the bridge, to attach the punts now running between Glebe Island and Domain, to the steam-dredge, and to convert them into mud punts.
Besides rendering communication between the Abattoirs and Sydney more speedy and convenient than at present, the new bridge will afford much shorter route for vehicles to Balmain and the contigu- ous localities. If, as seems not improbable, a similar bridge should be carried across White Bay from Glebe. Island to Balmain, the inhabitants of that suburb will, be brought within a quarter of on hour's drive of