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Between Two Bridges

Grundy Gardens (Park 12)

photo-icon Albert Bridge, City of Adelaide Archives, HP0062, date unknown
photo-icon John Harry Grainger
photo-icon Adelaide University Footbridge, City of Adelaide Archives, HP1515, date unknown

Near the zoo, you will see the Albert Bridge and to the west, towards the City, is the University Footbridge. Both bridges improved access across the River and to North Adelaide, as well as changing the appearance of the River with their sophisticated designs.

Albert Bridge was constructed in 1879 to improve communication and transport over the River. It was built on the site of an earlier bridge destroyed by floods in the late 1840s. Before its construction, most traffic went over King William Road Bridge, then known as 'City Bridge'.

Constructed by Davies and Wishart, the bridge’s decorative ironwork was imported from England. It has a Tea Tree Gully sandstone base. The bridge was designed by John Harry Grainger who also designed the Princes Bridge in Melbourne and the Ambassadors Hotel in King William Street. His son was composer George Percy Grainger.

University Footbridge was designed for the University of Adelaide by the South Australian Railways. Tentative plans were drawn up in 1928 but the 1930's Depression delayed construction until 1937. The bridge was constructed as part of Adelaide City Council’s contribution to the Centenary of South Australia in 1936. The Misses E and L Waite, whose family had a history of philanthropy towards the University of Adelaide, provided significant funding.

The Torrens River is known as Karrawirra Pari ('Redgum Forest River') in the Kaurna language. The Kaurna people are the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the Adelaide Plains. The Kaurna language was last spoken on a daily basis in the 1860s, and has been revived in recent times based on dictionaries prepared by German missionaries around the time of settlement.

This Park is called Karrawirra ('River Redgum Forest') which was abundant with 'pirlta' (brushtail possum) and 'kupe' (grubs) and provided shelter for Kaurna people.

The River was an important part of the Kaurna was of life, and the site of camps, corroborees, ceremonies and burials. The River is also part of the Red Kangaroo Dreaming Story.

City of Adelaide acknowledges the traditional Country of the Kaurna people of the Adelaide Plains and pays respect to Elders past and present. We recognise and respect their cultural heritage, beliefs and relationship with the land. We acknowledge that they are of continuing importance to the Kaurna people living today. We also extend that respect to other Aboriginal Language Groups and other First Nations.

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