Adrian Schrinner, who will be confirmed as Brisbane’s new Lord Mayor on Monday, April 8, has revealed plans for 5 new green bridges to be built. The $550 million program is aimed at congestion- busting. The bridges are part of the critical infrastructure the city needs to enhance lifestyle for its residents and protect green space.
A “Green Bridge” refers to a bridge that removes pedestrians from a vehicle roadway, a crossing to allow wildlife to move safely over highways or, in some cases, a water filtration system. One example of an established Green Bridge in Brisbane is the Eleanor Schonell Bridge. The $55.5 million Bridge, opened in December 2006, was a sustainable transport initiative designed for pedestrians, cyclists and buses. The bridge, which replaced a cross-river ferry, had greater capacity and improved overall average crossing times. Low-wattage, energy efficient lights were used to reduce both power consumption and the impact of the bridge on its surrounds. A high-profile solar roof generates the energy needed, offsetting mains electricity used at night.
Brisbane thus has prior experience with the planning, construction and uses of Green Bridges.
The 5 new bridges to be built to reduce traffic congestion and improve Brisbane’s cross-river connectivity are at Breakfast Creek, Kangaroo Point (to the CBD) Toowong to West End, St Lucia to West End and Bellbowrie. The Brisbane Council is currently undertaking a business case for the Kangaroo Point Bridge which is planned for pedestrians and cyclists. The Toowong and St Lucia Bridges are also planning to be both public transport as well as for cyclists and pedestrians. The Breakfast Creek Green Bridge, also for pedestrians and cyclists will connect the existing Riverwalk network with Kingsford Smith Drive Riverwalk while Bellbowrie Green Bridge, again, for cyclists and pedestrians will incorporate emergency access.
The Brisbane City Council will contribute two thirds of the cost of the new Green Bridges and seeks contributions from the State and Federal governments for the remainder. The new Lord Mayor has said he wants to champion parks and green space to create a more active and healthy city. He perceives this as a natural extension of the work done over three years leading the Brisbane Metro Project. This entailed creating new bike paths and other cycling infrastructure. Such allied work is creating improved walkways and cycle paths such as the proposed Botanic Gardens River walk, a six-metre wide, separated, bi-directional cycling and pedestrian pathway. The overall aim is to make it easier for Brisbane people to get around their city. The proposed improvements are a continuation of the development of Brisbane as a vibrant New World city attractive to its city dwellers, Queenslanders and international visitors and businesses.