Port Adelaide - Transport and Bridges

Transport and Bridges

The first transport infrastructure in the suburb was the construction of a 1 mile (1.6 km) long road from the port to near the present Alberton Hotel. The road was opened in October 1840. The cost of this road, and the causeway it ran on, proved so large that Governor Gawler allowed the constructing company to charge a toll. Later investigations showed the company was making excessive profits and a compromise was reached where the colony leased the roadway. Ownership of the roadway was later moved to the government, in exchange for land at Dry Creek.

The river was first crossed with a wooden bridge in the 1850s. This was replaced with the iron "Jervois Bridge" in 1878; It was named by Sir William Jervois after himself. Jervois Bridge was an opening bridge first operated by horse power, and later by mechanical means. It was replaced with a fixed bridge in the same position in 1969, when there was no longer a need for small boats to pass. Birkenhead Bridge, the first bascule bridge in Australia, opened in 1940. Tom 'Diver' Derrick Bridge, commonly referred to as the 'Diver' Derrick Bridge, is an opening single-leaf bascule bridge over the Port River. It was opened for traffic on 3 August 2008. It is between Docks 1 and 2 at Port Adelaide and links to Francis Street to the east and Victoria Road to the west. It was built at the same time as an adjacent rail crossing, the Mary MacKillop Bridge. The "Port Adelaide and Le Fevre Peninsula Ferry Co" began operations in 1877, ferrying passengers from the end of Commercial road to the other side of the river. The ferry stopped operating in 1943, consequent to opening of the Birkenhead Bridge.

In April 1856 a rail line reached the port, crossing the almost empty plain from Adelaide. By 1876 it was a thriving seaport and the principle artery from South Australia, to the rest of the country and to the World. To service the numerous stores and warehouses, many railway lines were built around the wharf areas, along streets, and connecting to the main lines from Adelaide. A horse tram line was constructed from Port Adelaide to Albert Park in 1879. This line was built in 1,600 mm (5 ft 3 in) broad gauge to accommodate steam locomotives. Some of the line was raised on embankments to avoid swampy ground and flooding. The line used horse trams until 1914, when conversion to electric operation began; it reopened on 3 April 1917. From 1917 until its closure in 1935, the Port Adelaide tram system was not connected to the rest of Adelaide's light rail network.

Rail transport in the 21st century uses the Port Adelaide railway station which has two elevated platforms located on a viaduct, built in 1919. Trains connect to Adelaide and Outer Harbor. The line was closed in November 2009 to enable upgrade work on the line, station and viaduct. The line and station are expected to open during 2010. Scheduled bus services directly connect Port Adelaide to much of metropolitan Adelaide. The State Government has promised that the Glenelg Tramline will be extended down Port Road as far as Port Adelaide by 2018. In 2005 the road portion of the Port River Expressway was completed. It is a 5.5 kilometres (3.4 mi) freeway-grade road, which links Port Adelaide and the Lefevre Peninsula to the northern suburbs of Adelaide, and major interstate routes via Salisbury Highway.

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