Your Brisbane Bridge Climb Questions Answered!

We love that you’re curious about the Story Bridge, our Brisbane Bridge Climbs, and Brisbane itself. Check out some of our most frequently asked questions below!

How many rivets are on the bridge?

There are 1.25 million rivets on the bridge! For those that are curious, rivets are the small metal bolts used to hold together pieces of metal.

How high is the bridge?

The Story Bridge is 80 metres above sea level which is approx 22 stories! 

How high is the Story Bridge compared to the Sydney Harbour Bridge?

The Sydney Harbour Bridge is 50m taller. It is the sixth longest spanning-arch bridge in the world and the tallest steel arch bridge! Fun fact, the same engineer designed both the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Story Bridge, Dr. John Bradfield.

Why was the Story Bridge built?

Discussions of a potential bridge ran for about 10 years before construction started in 1935. This was during the Great Depression era of very high unemployment and very low morale in the state. The bridge was planned by the state government at the time as a post-Great Depression economic stimulant/employment booster, along with the Somerset Dam build and moving the University of Queensland from George St to St Lucia.

When was the Story Bridge built?

Construction of the Story Bridge was a very intensive process. Construction began in 1935 and the bridge officially opened for business on 6 July 1940.

What’s the tallest building in Brisbane?

If you take a trip down to 1 William Street you will find the Tower of Power, Brisbane’s tallest building. Often referred to as the Campbell Newmans building, it stands 258.9 metres tall. 

How busy is the Brisbane Airport?

Roughly 65,000 people pass through the Brisbane airport every day, totalling to 23.4 million a year which is almost the population of Australia (24.1m).

What is All Hallows?

This School is an all-girls Catholic school that was founded in 1861 by the Sisters of Mercy (originally from Ireland).  It is also known for its similarity to Harry Potter/Hogwarts.

What is the Bradfield Highway?

The Sydney Harbour Bridge was completed in 1932 and it was designed by a famous Australian engineer – Dr. John Bradfield. He had retired, and the QLD government asked if he’d like to come on board as a consulting engineer. He accepted their offer because he was a local boy; born in Sandgate and educated at Ipswich. The roadway above us is named the Bradfield Highway after him and has the distinction of being the shortest highway in Australia – it only runs the length of the bridge (1072m long).

 

Is all the metal the same?

Have you noticed that the metal on the climb route is different to the bridge? The bridge is steel and needs painting while the climb route is made of galvanised iron and not painted.

When did we start the Story Bridge Adventure Climb?

The idea for a bridge climb was floated by Brisbane City Council in 2001. A couple of years were spent modifying the bridge structure to accommodate the climbers. The safety line was added, handrails were welded in place and several walkways and platforms were built. On September 30th 2005, just three months after the bridge’s 65th birthday, the climb opened to the public. The Story Bridge Adventure Climb is one of only three bridge climbs in the world – the others being Sydney Harbour Bridge and Auckland Harbour Bridge climbs. 

 

Still curious? Check out our FAQ’s page or contact us!

The Storied Past of the Story Bridge

Have you ever wondered how the iconic Story Bridge of Brisbane came to life? Such a large piece of metal did not just happen overnight. But it did change the way that life in Brisbane and the surrounding areas was lived forevermore. We are here to tell the tale of the journey that brought this erected this bridge. It all starts way back in 1925.

Tell Me About It…

Brisbane’s historical landmark the Story Bridge is magically positioned above the Brisbane River and amongst the inner suburbs of Kangaroo Point and New Farm. Story Bridge Adventure Climb will take you to the summit more than 80 metres above the Brisbane River. With 360-degree views spanning Moreton Bay in the East, the Glasshouse Mountains to our North and hinterland views to the West, your vision and sights are endless.

There were many things that happened to make this bridge one of the best places to visit in Brisbane. First things first, in 1925 after the Brisbane City Council was established, a committee was set-up due to that fact that there were not enough bridges crossing the Brisbane river. Not being able to cross this giant river proved itself to create quite a debacle. Construction on the Story Bridge did not start for another 10 years, though, since the State Government refused to fund such an expensive bridge.

The Most Important Details…

  • The consulting engineer chosen for the project was Queenslander Dr. John Bradfield. Dr. Bradfield had been Chief Engineer on the Sydney Harbour Bridge which was completed in 1932.
  • The bridge commenced construction on 24 May, 1935.
  • Construction took five years, one year longer than planned due to a steel shortage.
  • During construction, the Bridge was referred to as the Central Bridge; the Brisbane River Bridge; the King George the Fifth Memorial Bridge; the Jubilee Bridge of Story Place; later, in 1937, the Government chose the Story Bridge, after JD Storey.
  • The Story Bridge opened for operation on 6 July, 1940.
  • At the time of opening in 1940, the Story Bridge was Australia’s second largest bridge (exceeded by the Sydney Harbour Bridge). It was the seventh largest bridge of it’s kind in the world.
  • The Story Bridge project cost £1,492,000 ($3,227,416) (under budget).
  • Seven years later, the State Government sold the Story Bridge to the Brisbane City Council for £750,000.
  • During construction, one hundred and ninety-eight (198) men were employed at the metal works, one hundred and seventy-six (176) at the construction site as well as sixty (60) designers, engineers, and surveyors.
  • Tragically, four men lost their lives during construction.

Tell Me about the Bridge Itself…

  • The Bridge is 1,072 metres long from the southern to northern anchor piers.
  • The river span is 282 metres long.
  • The Bridge’s summit is 74 metres to ground, similar in height to a 22-story building.
  • The width of the Bridge is 24 metres, including footpaths.
  • The river clearance at low tide is 35 metres, or 10-stories.
  • The four main steel bearings each weight 36 tonnes.

A Little Bit about Construction…

  • In 1935 a contract was signed for Evans Deakin-Hornibrook Constructions Pty Ltd for the construction of the Bridge.
  • The bridge was constructed in five stages.
  • 39,100 cubic metres were excavated for foundations (a hole as large as 23 Olympic swimming pools).
  • 41,250 cubic metres of concrete used (approximately 8,200 truck loads).
  • 12,000 tonnes of structural steel used.
  • 1,650 tonnes of reinforcing steel used.
  • 1,500,000 rivets were used to construct the bridge.
  • The Story Bridge is the largest steel bridge designed, fabricated and constructed in Australia by Australians.

Brisbane’s Story Bridge opened for operation on July 6, 1940. This day came five years after construction commenced and fourteen years after initial recommendations for a river crossing in the Kangaroo Point vicinity.

Essentially, the Story Bridge was one of the then governments’ three major public works projects, creating years of employment for many men during the Great Depression. Today, the Story Bridge lends itself to be one of the best places to visit in Brisbane.