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  • Writer's pictureSheree Hoddinett

Have Your Say: A New Bridge for Bribie

Did you know the Bribie Island bridge turns 60 this year? While the original bridge is still holding strong, the idea of adding a new one has been thrown into the mix a few times in recent years.


It is now back on the agenda again. As part of the process, the community is being asked to have their say on a new bridge.


“We know how important it is to improve transport connections to Bribie Island, so this is an important step forward. I encourage anyone wanting to have their say on the future bridge to make your voice heard.

The existing Bribie Island bridge was constructed in 1963 and consists of two traffic lanes and a narrow shared pedestrian/bicycle pathway. It is currently the only road link between Bribie Island and the mainland.

Plans for a proposed new bridge were outlined in a recently released business case. The planning for the business case will consider opportunities to retain the existing bridge and add a new, two-lane bridge with improved pedestrian, bike rider and mobility device facilities. In this scenario, another two-lane bridge would eventually be required to replace the existing bridge.


A further alternative is an entirely new four-lane bridge. The results of the detailed assessment of the existing bridge will be essential in determining its current condition, remaining life, maintenance and rehabilitation costs and if continued use is a practical option.


While previous inspections confirmed the existing bridge is structurally safe and has been properly maintained, continued growth is increasing the demand for a new bridge. The business case for a new bridge is part of the Queensland Government's strategy for progressive upgrades to provide four lanes along Caboolture-Bribie Island Road. Several projects are already in various stages of planning, design and construction between the Bruce Highway and Bribie Island bridge. The business case for the bridge will help determine priorities for further upgrades.


Member for Pumicestone Ali King described the bridge as an icon but highlighted the need to improve access to and from Bribie Island. Ms King said technical investigations to help develop the new bridge’s concept design had begun.


“A detailed assessment of the existing bridge began in November 2022 and crews will soon start geotechnical drilling in Pumicestone Passage to assess where a new bridge could be built,” Ms King said. “How to look after local pelicans will be a key consideration, and we will be working closely with wildlife specialists during the planning phase.


“We know how important it is to improve transport connections to Bribie Island, so this is an important step forward. I encourage anyone wanting to have their say on the future bridge to make your voice heard.”


An upgraded bridge will provide a range of benefits. These include enhancing connections between the island and the mainland, increased surety of emergency access by road, reduced congestion and delays on the bridge, improved traffic flow and improved active transport facilities. Separating opposing traffic flows, increasing the number of lanes and improving traffic flow will reduce the likelihood of vehicle crashes, leading to improved safety.


Have Your Say on a New Bribie Island bridge


  • Community consultation is open until 27 February, 2023.

  • A range of consultation opportunities are available including:

    • Online survey and interactive map

    • Community consultation sessions

    • Newsletter with a survey distributed to local properties

    • Contacting the TMR project team: email - Bribie.Island.Bridge@tmr.qld.gov.au, phone: 1800 783 016, post: North Coast Region, PO Box 1600, Maroochydore QLD 4558.

  • Feedback will help develop a concept design to provide four lanes across Pumicestone Passage and consider the future of the existing bridge.

  • The concept design will be presented for further community comment in 2023.

  • Funding for new bridge construction will be considered in future funding rounds against other transport infrastructure priorities across the state.

  • For more information, visit www.tmr.qld.gov.au and search 'Bribie Island Bridge planning'.


Fun Facts About The Bribie Island bridge

  • When the Bongaree Jetty was built in 1912, visitors to the island would travel by boat. A number of steamships including the Koopa and Doomba transported people from Brisbane to the Island. When car travel became more popular in the 1940s, a car/passenger ferry service was used between Bribie and Toorbul Point.

  • The idea of a bridge to Bribie Island had been discussed for many years and on November 17, 1959 came an official announcement that the bridge would be built. The construction took almost two years with about 40 men involved in the building of the bridge, thankfully no lives were lost or any major injuries reported at the time.

  • Spanning 2736 feet (831.4 m), the bridge cost $716,321 to build and with a 10 shilling toll, the bridge officially opened on Saturday October 19, 1963 by the then premier of Queensland, Frank Nicklin.

  • The first toll ticket was purchased by Premier Nicklin and the last toll ticket was purchased by Bribie resident Stan Balmer on March 22, 1975. Jack Greenhalgh was the Toll Master for the duration of the toll period October 20, 1963 to March 22, 1975. The popularity of visiting the Island definitely showed in how quickly the toll was paid off!

  • At the time it was constructed, the bridge was the longest pre-stressed, pre-cast concrete bridge in Australia. There are 104 beams each weighing 18 tons. The beams of pre-stressed concrete are each 21.9m long and 1.4m deep. At the centre of the bridge there is also a clearance of 7.3m at low tide to cater for small craft.

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