The Rip Bridge by Margaret O’Toole

The Rip Bridge is an elegant looking bridge. It spans from the main land areas of the Central Coast to the Woy Woy Peninsula. This bridge, once completed provided the second link to the Peninsula.

Margaret has depicted this bridge in a unique western sunset light in watercolours.

Interestingly, I had met the engineer who designed the bridge. He explained that when he was designing and building the bridge he was allowing for a settling of the spans from each bank as they were coming together.  Gravity was expected to distort the reinforced concrete structure allowing the bridge to settle together in the middle. Unfortunately this did not happen and the bridge halves stayed true leaving an angle, however so slight, in the middle of the bridge. As a consequence the engineer had to redesign the centre part of the bridge so it would join smoothly. The retrofit gives the bridge a slight hump in the middle.

The water below is often fast flowing and the narrow waterway provides the entrance to the Brisbane Water which has a picturesque series of bays and inlets surrounded by the southern Central Coast towns of Gosford and Woy Woy.

The water below the bridge has two vast and deep hole, one each side of the bridge. They are more than 30 meter deep.

The Rip Bridge

This day looks serene on the waterway, but when the tide in running it is very turbulent.

The waterway of Brisbane Waters flows with the tide into Broken Bay and then into the Pacific Ocean.

Booker Bay

The above photo is of a unique locality called Booker Bay. Booker Bay is hidden away on the eastern side of the bridge and accessible from Ettalong. Ettalong is one of the three major shopping centres on the Woy Woy Peninsula.

These photos were taken from the local mountain, Black Mountain, prominently rising up on the eastern side of the peninsula.

The whole area is an amazing place to take a stroll.

Comments By David Holland

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