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Second Gateway Bridge to open ahead of schedule

03 May 2010

Brisbane’s second Gateway Bridge is due to open six months ahead of schedule on 24 May.

The new bridge, which is being constructed by Abigroup in a joint venture, will celebrate its opening with a community day on Sunday 16 May in which the public will have the chance to walk over the bridge before it is opened to traffic.

Anyone interested in taking part in the community day, which is being organised by the Queensland Government and Queensland Motorways, need to register their interest on the Second Gateway Bridge Community Day website.

The new bridge will open to traffic with four southbound lanes and following final bridge approach works all six lanes will open by August.

The new six lane bridge, to be named the Sir Leo Hielscher Bridge, will be opened earlier than planned thanks to production efficiencies and innovations made by the project team.

“It took five and a half years to construct the original Gateway Bridge but thanks to modern construction methods such as the use of match casting of bridge segments for the approach span, the new bridge will be completed in just over three years,” said Construction Director Gerry van der Wal.

The second bridge has been constructed 50m downstream from the existing Gateway Bridge and has the same distinctive shape which is partly determined by air traffic requirements and shipping clearances.

These restrict the height of the bridge to under 80m above sea level and demand a navigational clearance of 57m – a narrow envelope in which to construct a long bridge.

Like its twin, the new bridge stands at 64.5m at its highest point over the Brisbane River and is 1.63km long. The two bridges are among the ten longest cantilever box girder bridges in the world.

The new bridge is wider than its twin - 27m compared with 22m. This is to accommodate a new shared pedestrian and cycle way.

There are also four rest areas offering shade and unsurpassed views west to Brisbane City and east to the Port of Brisbane, Brisbane Airport and beyond to Moreton Bay.

A different construction methodology has been used to accommodate the extra width. Rather than a single box girder design, the new bridge uses a twin box girder system.

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