Brisbane River Bridges & Tunnels
As the city of Brisbane is based around the gently winding, huge volume Brisbane River, it's a given that the river is cris-crossed by many bridges. They've been constructed over the period of 150 years so vary hugely in design - from original rail bridges to modern works of architectural art. They also vary in function - pedestrian-only bridges are interspersed with dedicated railway bridges and of course car traffic bridges - many of course are also multi-use.
There are in total 16 major bridges that cross the Brisbane River and 1 transport tunnel that runs below it to date. Many of the bridges in Brisbane have been subject to damage due to flooding and some have been rebuilt a number of times. Below is a list of Brisbane River Bridges by first construction date order:
The Victoria Bridge
The Victoria Bridge which was completed in 1969 is the third bridge which has been constructed in this location. The first bridge was opened in 1865 and was made of timber and consequently collapsed in 1867 due to wood worm; the second bridge was built in 1874 however was destroyed by The Great Flood of 1893 and the third bridge lasted from 1897 to 1969 until it was demolished due to safety. This fourth bridge now carries pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles and connects commuters from South Bank to the Brisbane CBD.
The Albert Bridge
The Albert Bridge is named in honour of Prince of Wales, Prince Albert, and is a railway bridge that connects Chelmer and Indooroopilly station. This site has been home to two bridges, the first fell to the fate of the flood in 1893 and the second was opened in 1895 and stands today as one of Australia’s largest truss bridges.
The William Jolly Bridge
The William Jolly Bridge was opened during the darkest year of the Great Depression in 1932. It was formerly known as the Grey Street Bridge as it connects commuters from Grey Street in South Brisbane to Roma Street in Brisbane CBD. It was renamed in 1955 after the first Lord Mayor of Brisbane, William Jolly.
The Walter Taylor Bridge
The Walter Taylor Bridge was designed, built and bankrolled by local Walter Taylor. The suspension bridge was opened in February 1936 and connects pedestrians and vehicles from Indooroopilly to Chelmer.
The Story Bridge
The Story Bridge was opened in July 1940 and was named after a long serving public servant, John Douglas Story. It is a cantilever bridge which has 6 lanes of traffic, footpath and bikeway. It connects Fortitude Valley with Kangaroo Point. The Indooroopilly Railway Bridge connects the Indooroopilly train station to the Chelmer station. It is built parallel to the Albert Bridge and was opened in 1957.
The Centenary Bridge
The Centenary Bridge was built to link the new suburbs of Jindalee, Mount Ommaney and Westlake to the rest of Brisbane. This bridge underwent major repairs when during the 1974 floods a barge flowed into it causing much damage. It was originally opened in 1964 however it was then duplicated in 80s.
The Captain Cook Bridge
The Captain Cook Bridge was built exclusively for vehicles and creates a connection from Gardens Point to Woollongabba. It was opened in 1972 and is Queensland’s busiest traffic bridge. The Merivale Bridge was opened in 1978 and is located slightly down river of the William Jolly Bridge. It is a double track railway bridge that connects the South Brisbane Station to the busy Roma Street train station. It was opened by the premier of Queensland, Joh Bjelke-Petersen who called it "the start of the second stage in the history of Queensland Railways".
The Sir Leo Hielscher Bridge
The Sir Leo Hielscher Bridge was initially opened in January 1986 as the Gateway Bridge when in May 2010 a duplicate was opened. The name was then changed from Gateway to Sir Leo Hielscher after a dedicated public servant. These bridges are the most eastern river crossing and connect the Gateway Motorway from Eagle Farm to Murarrie.
The Jack Pesch Bridge
The Jack Pesch Bridge has been linking the cyclists and pedestrians of Chelmer to Indooroopilly since October 1998. It was named after the 1930s cycling champion Jack Pesch who also ran a bicycle shop on Petrie Terrace for many decades.
The Goodwill Bridge
The Goodwill Bridge was opened in 2001 and took its name from the Goodwill Games which were held in Brisbane at the same time. The bridge is used exclusively by pedestrians and cyclists and connects those from the South Bank Parklands to Queensland University of Technologies Gardens Point campus.
The Eleanor Schonell Bridge
The Eleanor Schonell Bridge was opened in December 2006 and is named after Lady Eleanor Schonell who is internationally recognised for her contribution to the education of children with intellectual disabilities. Prior to this it was known as the Green Bridge which links The University of Queensland’s St Lucia campus to Dutton Park. It is primarily used for public transport, cyclists and pedestrians.
The Kurilpa Bridge
The Kurilpa Bridge, opened in 2009, is the world’s largest tensegrity bridge which means it is built on the principles of tensegrity. This principle states that when you have balance between tension and compression it creates a light structure that is very strong. The bridge is used to connect cyclists and pedestrians from the Brisbane CBD to Kurilpa Point in South Brisbane.
The Clem Jones Tunnel
The Clem Jones Tunnel is the first toll road built under the Brisbane River and connects the suburbs of Woolloongabba and Bowen Hills. The tunnel was opened on the 28th and February 2010 and celebrated with a public tunnel run. It was named in honour of Clem Jones the longest serving Lord Mayor of Brisbane from 1961 to 1975.
The Go Between Bridge
The Go Between Bridge is one of Brisbane’s newest and it links the West End to the Milton Inner City Bypass. It was opened in July 2010 and is a toll bridge for vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists. It is named after famous Brisbane rock band, The Go-Betweens, which is a pretty cool honour to bestow any band!