Walter Taylor Bridge: Revisiting the History of Southern Hemisphere’s Only Habitable Bridge

Walter Taylor Bridge: Revisiting the History of Southern Hemisphere’s Only Habitable Bridge

Have you ever imagined what it is like to live inside the only habitable bridge in the Southern Hemisphere? Opened on Valentine’s Day 1936, the Walter Taylor Bridge is not only rich in history but stories from the people who have once lived inside the bridge’s pylons.

Formerly known as the Indooroopilly Toll Bridge, the Walter Taylor Bridge was constructed using some of the cables made from the leftover wire rope that was also used to build the Sydney Harbour.

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It was built and designed by Walter Taylor after locals clamoured for a means by which cars could cross the bridge from Chelmer to Indooroopilly. Before it was opened to the public, the only way to cross the river was through a pedestrian bridge or via a ferry service.

When it opened in 1936, the bridge was operated by Indooroopilly Toll Bridge Limited with the primary toll fee costing sixpence until it was removed in 1965. The first toll collectors, toll master Morton John Green and bridge toll-keeper George MacDougal were the original residents of the bridge.

Mort Green, lived in the Indooroopilly pylon whilst George and his wife lived on the Chelmer side. George’s son also worked shifts as a toll collector. Morton’s brother, William Green was Chair of the Board of Directors of the Indooroopilly Toll Bridge Pty Ltd.

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The Greens lived in the apartment for 75 years. Meanwhile, the Chelmer side of the bridge was rented to university students from the 70s through the 80s. 

Did you know that one of the last dwellers on the bridge was a 300-kg man who due to his medical condition had to be moved out of the apartment using a crane? 

The 57-year-old man who was identified as a descendant of the Mort Green suffered from an asthma attack. Since it was impossible to move him out of the premises using just a stretcher, a window had to be cut to get him out of the room and put him onto a crane.

Another story that many may not have heard of was a time when a drunk university student climbed the bridge and went to the top of the pile and then to the Indooroopilly side of the bridge only to find himself too scared to get down. Thankfully, the police who responded to the call were able to get him down to safety.

The bridge was renamed Walter Taylor Bridge in 1956 to honour Walter Taylor’s memory following his death in 1955.

Brisbane City Council acquired the dwellings in 1965 and the Indooroopilly pylon was opened for public viewing in 2013.