Jack HIndshaw


Only yesterday they’d all laughed when they felt the span move. ‘She must be having growing pains’ someone said.

On the morning of 15 October, Ian Miller walked on to the span he and the men had just recently put in place on top of the huge 155ft concrete piers on the west side of the River Yarra. His colleague Jack Hindshaw was there. They waved a greeting to each other.

Jack, 42, the resident engineer for the bridge designers, Freeman Fox and Partners, had been sent out from London. Only a few weeks before, Ian and Jack had assured the men the bridge was safe after a similar bridge at Milford Haven, Wales, had collapsed and killed four men. Now this span was giving trouble.

The error

A decision to use concrete ballast (kentledge) to realign girders that didn’t meet, was a fatal one.
A view from the top

When the two half girders on the west side, span 10-11, were brought into close proximity up on the structure, it was established beyond all doubt that a camber difference of about 4.5 inches (114mm) existed. It was proposed by JHC that time might be saved if the vertical difference of level could be taken out by using kentledge to push down the north half span relative to its south counterpart.

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