Designed by Grimshaw for Destination Brisbane Consortium, Neville Bonner Bridge was opened on Saturday morning, 2 September for 500 pedestrians to experience a sneak preview of the Brisbane River centrepiece
Most of the successful ticket registrations were from Brisbane but interest was high from across Australia with people from Toowoomba, the Sunshine Coast, the Gold Coast and as far afield as Melbourne, Canberra and Adelaide among the first pedestrians to walk to the Lookout at the halfway mark of the 320-metre-long bridge.
The occasion heralded the Brisbane Festival opening night Riverfire spectacular, which brings to life the river and iconic city landmarks through a multi-arts program.
Ahead of the event, Grimshaw Managing Partner, Neil Stonell, spoke with ABC Radio Brisbane’s Rebecca Levingston →, Presenter of Mornings, for a live broadcast from the Neville Bonner Bridge →.
Neville Bonner Bridge, named in honour of Australia’s first federal Indigenous parliamentarian, touched down at Queen’s Wharf Brisbane on 27 February 2023 after two years of construction, completing the cross-river connection with South Bank and linking the city’s two largest lifestyle precincts.
The bridge is currently an exclusion zone at the Queen’s Wharf Brisbane end but will open fully as part of the $3.6b tourism precinct’s planned phased launch next April.
Grimshaw Managing Partner, Neil Stonell said, “To see 500 people enjoying a stroll to the Lookout halfway across the bridge is very rewarding. When it opens in 2024, Neville Bonner Bridge will provide an engaging river-crossing experience and improved access between the south bank cultural precinct and the Brisbane city centre.”
“To see 500 people enjoying a stroll to the Lookout halfway across the bridge is very rewarding. When it opens in 2024, Neville Bonner Bridge will provide an engaging river-crossing experience and improved access between the south bank cultural precinct and the Brisbane city centre.”
Neil Stonell, Managing Partner at Grimshaw
With the surrounding parklands context influencing the design, the structure of Neville Bonner Bridge has been highly considered and engineered by one of the world’s leading engineering firms, WSP, who have worked closely with the design team to achieve an elegant and efficient outcome and expertly built by Fitzgerald Constructions.
The hybrid mast and arch design minimises the landing points in the river and the structure required to span from South Bank to Queen's Wharf, creating a lightweight yet dramatic presence through an inherently environmentally responsible solution.
The Lookout, a suspended mid-river deck, encourages people to pause and enjoy views of the river, city and parklands, and a continuous shade structure provide protection from the subtropical sun.
Once open, the pedestrian-only bridge will link South Bank to the dining and retail level of the new Queen’s Wharf entertainment and tourism resort with escalators and lifts through to William and George Streets.
It’s expected there will be 10,000 pedestrian crossings a day when the bridge opens to the public in 2024.
Neville Bonner Bridge will add to Brisbane’s array of unique water infrastructure and enable greater connectivity across the CBD to enhance the city’s vibrant pedestrian landscape and helps advance connectivity and accessibility for both locals and visitors ahead of the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Photography: Destination Brisbane Consortium