William Jolly Bridge, Brisbane

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The William Jolly Bridge is a vehicular and pedestrian bridge over the Brisbane River in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. It is a steel frame arch bridge with an unusual concrete veneer and was opened to traffic on 30 March 1932 by Sir John Goodwin, the Governor of Queensland.

When opened, during the worst year of the Great Depression, the bridge was known simply as the Grey Street Bridge. It was renamed to the William Jolly Bridge on 5 July 1955 in memory of William Jolly, the first Lord Mayor of Greater Brisbane.


The aim of the bridge was to reduce traffic congestion on Victoria Bridge during peak periods. It was designed by Harding Frew, a local but prominent civil engineer. The style of the bridge's design is art deco, which was popular at the time. Manuel R. Hornibrook's company built the bridge that consists of two piers that were built in the river and two pylons on the river banks, which support three graceful arches. The rainbow arch type, as it was described, was claimed to be the first of its type in Australia. The concrete surface was treated to make it appear like "light-coloured porphyry".

Traffic use

The William Jolly Bridge is shared by vehicular traffic, pedestrians and cyclists. It connects Grey Street in South Brisbane to Roma Street on the western edge of the Brisbane central business district. The bridge was conceived as a bypass for motor traffic between the southern suburbs and western suburbs of Brisbane to avoid increasing traffic congestion on the Victoria Bridge and on downtown streets such as George Street. It was constructed with the intention of building tram lines over it and although the tracks were never installed, anchor points for tramway overhead were installed at the top of each arch. These overhead anchor points remain in situ.


The bridge has two lanes for motor traffic in each direction, and a footpath on each side of the bridge. By 2006, the Brisbane City Council reported that on a typical weekday, 42000 vehicles crossed the bridge and at peak times both ends of the bridge suffered from congestion. The Go Between Bridge is expected to relieve congestion on the William Jolly Bridge now that it has opened.

Cultural references

The bridge was a location for the filming of Inspector Gadget 2.

Building Activity

  • removed a media
    about 6 years ago via OpenBuildings.com