We joined an estimated 170,000 people to create the first traffic jam on the new Gateway Bridge on Sunday 16 May 2010. We had intended to walk right across, but arrived just as the official opening ceremony started, which resulted in everyone stopping. We decided to retreat and grab a coffee from one of the market stalls to wait for the foot traffic jam to clear.
Alas, after drinking our coffees, and then a plate of yummy Dutch pancakes, the crowd was still at a standstill. We decided that in years to come, we could say we were amongst the first to walk on the bridge, even if it was only 200 metres of it.
But, if you weren’t there for the official opening, you’ll still be able to walk across the bridge, without the foot traffic jams, on the dedicated pedestrian and cycle path way.
Once they’ve joined all of the walking paths up on both sides of the river, I’ll write a walk description with distances, points of interest, public transport, parking and photos then post it all on this site. Eventually, it will be written up in Brisbane’s Best Bush, Bay and City Walks when a new edition is printed, but you’ll see it here first.
A few facts about the bridge:
The first Gateway Bridge, which is mirrored by the new bridge, was opened 24 years ago on 11 January 1986. The bridge had to been constructed to allow shipping traffic underneath, yet be under 80 metres above sea level because of air traffic requirements.
The Gateway Bridges, both of them, have been officially re-named after Sir Leo Hielscher, a public servant, who noted that he would still have to pay the toll when he crosses the bridges.
For a live view of the traffic on the bridge, take a look at the webcam images on OurBrisbane.
The new bridge, which will carry six lanes of southbound traffic, is 27 metres wide and 64.5 metres above river level with its main span being 260 metres long. The pedestrian and cycle way, built on the eastern side, is 4.25 metres wide and has four rest areas. I’m looking forward to seeing the views over Moreton Bay.
157,000 tonnes of concrete and 11,600 tonnes of steel were used in its construction and it’s designed to last for 300 years.