A Journey Through Time: The History of Brisbane’s Iconic Story Bridge

May 24, 2023
Story Bridge Brisbane

Table Of Contents

Today, we’re going to take a journey through time and explore the history of one of Brisbane’s most iconic landmarks: the Story Bridge. This stunning cantilever bridge not only connects Kangaroo Point to Fortitude Valley, but it also holds a special place in the hearts of Brisbane residents.

Construction of the Bridge

The history of the Story Bridge goes back to the early 20th century when the need for a new crossing over the Brisbane River became apparent. The original idea was proposed in the 1920s, but it wasn’t until the 1930s that the bridge’s construction finally commenced.

The Story Bridge was designed by a prominent engineer named John Bradfield, who was also responsible for the design of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The bridge’s construction began in 1935, with the help of over 400 workers. It took five years to complete, and the bridge was finally opened to the public on July 6, 1940.

The Naming of the Bridge

The Story Bridge was initially known as the “Jubilee Bridge” in honour of King George V’s Silver Jubilee, which occurred in 1935. However, in 1937, the name was changed to “Story Bridge” to pay tribute to John Douglas Story, a prominent Queensland public servant who played a significant role in the bridge’s development.

The Story Bridge’s Impact on Brisbane

The completion of the Story Bridge had a profound impact on Brisbane’s growth and development. It opened up new trade and transport opportunities and helped to ease traffic congestion in the city.

Over the years, the bridge has become an integral part of the city’s landscape and identity. It is now one of the most photographed landmarks in Brisbane and a popular spot for tourists and locals alike.

Adventure and Celebration on the Bridge

One of the most unique experiences the Story Bridge offers is the Story Bridge Adventure Climb, which was launched in 2005. This thrilling experience allows participants to climb to the summit of the bridge, where they are rewarded with breathtaking views of Brisbane and its surroundings.

The Story Bridge is also the centrepiece of various city celebrations, such as Riverfire and the annual Bridge to Brisbane fun run. It is often lit up in different colours to mark special occasions or to raise awareness for various causes.

The Future of the Story Bridge

As Brisbane continues to grow and evolve, the Story Bridge remains an essential part of the city’s transport infrastructure. There have been discussions about the possibility of adding a pedestrian and cycle bridge alongside the existing bridge to further ease congestion and promote active transport.

The Story Bridge has stood the test of time, and its history is a testament to the engineering prowess and determination of those who built it. It’s a true icon of Brisbane, and its place in the city’s history and identity will continue to endure for generations to come.

So, the next time you’re crossing the Story Bridge or admiring its beauty from a distance, take a moment to appreciate the rich history that lies behind this remarkable Brisbane landmark.

Further Reading

Here is a list of further reading links to learn more about the history, construction, and significance of Brisbane’s iconic Story Bridge:

  1. Queensland Government – Story Bridge History https://www.qld.gov.au/about/about-queensland/history/story-bridge
  2. Story Bridge Adventure Climb – The History of Story Bridge https://www.sbclimb.com.au/story-bridge/history/
  3. Brisbane City Council – Heritage Trails: Story Bridge https://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/things-to-see-and-do/outdoor-activities/walking/walking-trails/heritage-trails/story-bridge
  4. Engineers Australia – Engineering Heritage: Story Bridge https://www.engineersaustralia.org.au/portal/system/files/engineering-heritage-australia/heritage-awards/2014/2014%20-%20Queensland%20-%20Story%20Bridge.pdf
  5. Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) – Story Bridge: 75 Years On http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2015/07/02/4266356.htm
  6. The Brisbane History Group – Story Bridge: A Landmark in Time https://brisbanehistorygroup.org.au/story-bridge-a-landmark-in-time/
  7. State Library of Queensland – Construction of the Story Bridge https://www.slq.qld.gov.au/blog/construction-story-bridge

These resources provide an extensive overview of the history, design, and construction of the Story Bridge, as well as its impact on Brisbane’s development and the various events and activities that take place on and around the bridge.

Written by: Matt Grill

Matt Grill is the Director and Founder of BSharp Tech,  entrepreneur, software developer, digital marketer, photographer, geek, husband and father. 

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