Going under – Melbourne’s love affair with the Montague Street Bridge

Another day, another truck hits the Montague Street bridge. Photo: @Samcos73/Twitter.

Another day, another truck hits the Montague Street bridge. Photo: @Samcos73/Twitter.

The Montague Street Bridge has claimed another truck, despite a new fancy pants warning system.

Melbourne’s most irresistible street crossing has had a new warning system implemented, but it wasn’t enough to stop another truck ploughing into it on Wednesday morning.

The truck driver says he hit the safety gantries meant to warn over-height vehicles – but thought it was just “a noise” and kept driving before getting stuck, The Age reports.

Earlier this year, the bridge claimed the attentions of two more vehicles – on the same day!

It seems nothing can avoid its subtle charms. Even a 15-tonne Public Transport Victoria bus has succumbed to its siren song.

But the Montague Street Bridge has hit back at those seeking to tarnish its good name.

April, 2016. Photo: Matt Furneaux

April, 2016. Photo: Matt Furneaux

The Weekly Review contacted the bridge, which has a presence on our streets as well as on social media (@MontagueStbridg – you know, because Twitter) to give it a chance to respond to allegations from buses and trucks that it was deliberately targeting them. The response?

“I’ll stand my ground.  No, I won’t back down.”

Evidently, the Montague Street Bridge is somewhat of a muso, initially doffing its cap to Tom Petty before referencing the likes of Queen and the CW McCall classic Convoy (also made famous in The Simpsons):

TWR: Trucks and buses say no other bridge in Melbourne has it in for them like you do. Is there some vendetta or something that happened in your childhood to make you dislike buses and trucks so much?

MSB: “It was 1975 when it first happened – a convoy, to be more specific – rocking through the night, it was a helluva sight. Bloody convoy.”

TWR: What do you have to say to the people of Melbourne, given that once again you have taken out another bus?

MSB: “Ride on trains … train rolls on.”

TWR: When will you cease your destructive ways?

MSB: “I am indestructible. I have determination that is incorruptible. From the other side, there’s a terror to behold. Annihilation will be unavoidable.”

TWR: Is there anything we, as Melburnians, can do to put an end to your behaviour?

MSB: “Open your eyes, look up to the sky and see.”


While this is all a bit of a giggle for those watching from the outside, it does call into question just how safe the new safety warnings actually are.

In June, Premier Daniel Andrews was proud to announce the new warnings, even invoking the spirit of Gandalf the Grey for a Facebook time-lapse video. See below:

Whatever happens, the spectacularly named website howmanydayssincemontaguestreetbridgehasbeenhit.com will continue to be a click magnet. Surely it is begging to be sponsored by an insurance company!

There is also a related Instagram account, which has some pictures of older close encounters with the bridge. We’ll let the caption of this one speak for itself.

Cars to the left of me, cars to the right. But here I am stuck in the middle with you Fan pic from Nov 2013 by @dan_anstey #themontylimbo #MontagueSt #bridge #crash #stuck #truck #lorry #uhoh

A photo posted by Montague St Bridge (@themontylimbo) on

 

The Weekly Review’s group picture editor Matthew Furneaux was among the action on the day of the double crash in April this year.

“The second one happened about 15 to 20 minutes after that,” he said. “He actually hit the bridge. He didn’t get stuck but he definitely hit it. They reversed back and went the other way.”

It was a case of serious deja vu for Matt, who has witnessed the Montague Street Bridge work its magic before.

“Twenty years ago I saw a meat truck hit the bridge. The two drivers hit their heads on the windscreen and the meat came flying out the back. I can’t believe it’s happened again. It’s ridiculous. Can’t we dig a hole or something?”

There is a sign! it's right there! Photo: Matt Furneaux

There is a sign! it’s right there! Photo: Matt Furneaux

Lastly, we’ll leave you with the ever-growing list of suitably outraged and sublimely sarcastic social media response from Melburnians. We do love a good lol.