This year Brisbane’s most iconic steel structure, the Story Bridge, celebrates its 80th birthday. Today, the heritage-listed bridge which spans the winding Brisbane River between Kangaroo Point and Fortitude Valley, is not only an important piece of infrastructure, it is a crucial part of our city’s identity.
Interesting facts about the Story Bridge
Though it was built three-quarters of a century ago, the Story Bridge remains the longest steel cantilever bridge in Australia. It is also the largest steel bridge designed and built mostly by Australians from Australian materials.
For those who are interested, here are some more interesting facts about our beloved Story Bridge:
- The bridge was erected 1935-39 and was officially opened on 6 July 1940.
- Originally a toll bridge, it took only seven years for the full cost (£1.6 million) to be recuperated and the bridge to be transferred to the Brisbane City Council.
- The bridge was named about John Douglas Story, a senior and influential public servant who had advocated strongly for the bridge’s construction.
- All the steelwork, approximately 12,000 tonnes, was fabricated by shipbuilding and engineering company Evans, Deakin & Co. Ltd at their Rocklea workshop.
- The bridge construction was one of three employment-generating projects undertaken by the Qld Government during the depression years of the mid-1930s (the others being the Stanley River Dam and the University of Qld’s St Lucia campus).
Steel then and now
All around the world there are buildings that soar to record heights, bridges that span the widest rivers, and sculptures that unite nations; all of which would not have been possible without steel.
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