The Victoria Bridge is a vehicular and pedestrian bridge over the Brisbane River. The current bridge, opened in 1969, is the third permanent crossing erected at this location. It is shared by vehicular traffic, pedestrians and cyclists. Victoria Bridge connects the South Bank Parklands and Queensland Cultural Centre to the Brisbane central business district (CBD) at North Quay. Half of the road space on the bridge is now given over to the South-East Busway. In the Brisbane City Centre Draft Masterplan, a new crossing immediately adjacent to the Victoria Bridge, tentatively named the Adelaide Street Bridge (the name of the connecting street in the CBD), will carry pedestrian, cyclist, bus and possibly light-rail traffic, freeing up the Victoria Bridge for general road traffic as it was before.

Former bridges at this site
Work first began on the foundations for the first bridge across the Brisbane River on 22 August 1864. The bridge, known as the Brisbane Bridge, was a tolled, timber structure which opened in June 1865. This structure quickly succumbed to marine wood worm and collapsed in April 1867. The council wasn't able to repair the structure and its remnants took two years to fall away into the river. A new crossing, opened in June 1874 by the Governor of Queensland, the Marquis of Normanby, was an iron structure and a toll bridge. The bridge was paid for by significant council borrowings that were to be recouped by tolls. However a lack of revenue forced its transfer to the Colonial Government. It included a turning span to allow tall masted river traffic to pass upstream. The position of the swinging span was fixed when the tram-lines were laid along the bridge. It carried a 6 in (0.15 m) and a 9 in (0.23 m) diameter pipe which supplied mains water to South Brisbane. This bridge was partially washed away in the 1893 Brisbane flood. Another replacement bridge was built and entered service in 1897, lasting until 1969, when it was demolished. In the meantime, ferries were used to transport people and goods. This second bridge was designed by A.B. Brady. It was constructed of steel and had two carriage ways and two footpaths. As early as 1943 evidence of the bridge buckling from the weight of increased traffic was noticed. Tram numbers on the bridge had to be restricted and the footpath removed as a result. A new bridge which was opened on 14 April 1969, was needed to meet growing traffic demands. It cost A$3.2 million and featured a modern design which has been described as sleek and elegant. For a short period both bridges were open, each operating in one direction only. A portion of the southern abutment of the previous bridge remains adjacent to the new bridge, carrying a pedestrian arch, a short remnant of tram track and a memorial to Hector Vasyli, a young boy who was killed in a traffic accident at that point when waving to servicemen returning from the First World War.

Building Activity

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