2009: The Inauguration of the Kurilpa Bridge in Brisbane

October 4, 2009

The Kurilpa Bridge was inaugurated in the city of Brisbane, the capital of northeastern Australia’s state of Queensland. This multiple-mast, cable-stayed pedestrian and bicycle bridge crosses the Brisbane River and serves as a link between Kurilpa Point in Brisbane’s inner southern suburb of South Brisbane and Tank Street in the city’s central business district. Anna Bligh, who was premier of Queensland from 2007 to 2012, officiated at the opening ceremony for the Kurilpa Bridge.

The design team for the Kurilpa Bridge included the Sydney-based firm Cox Rayner Architects and the British multinational engineering services firm Arup Group Limited. The Sydney-based construction company Baulerstone built the bridge.

The Kurilpa Bridge is 1,540 feet (470 meters) long and has a main span of 420 feet (128 meters). This bridge holds the record as the world’s largest tensegrity bridge. Tensegrity, which is a portmanteau of “tensional integrity,” refers to the synergy between tension and compression forces that keeps a structure both strong and intact. With respect to the Kurilpa Bridge, the cables serve as tension forces while the tubes act as compression forces; more specifically, the cables pull the tubes but the rigidity of those tubes give them a compressive durability that prevents the structure from falling apart.

The Kurilpa Bridge’s other distinctive features include two viewing platforms; two rest areas; and an all-weather canopy. In addition, the bridge is outfitted with an LED lighting system that can be programmed to display a wide and colorful range of illumination effects. The World Architecture Festival, an annual awards event focused on architectural developments across the globe, named the Kurilpa Bridge the World Transport Building of the Year in 2011.   

Photo Credit: Steve Collis (licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en)

For more information on the Kurilpa Bridge, please check out https://structurae.net/en/structures/kurilpa-bridge

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