Hornibrook Bridge

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Hornibrook Bridge
Looking south, Houghton Highway on left, 2005
Carries trucks, bicycle
Crosses Bramble Bay
Locale Brisbane, Queensland
Designer Sir Manuel Hornibrook
Design Viaduct
Material Wood
Total length 2.684 km
Width 7.92 m[1]
Number of spans 294[1]
Construction begin 8 June 1932[1]
Opened 14 October 1935[1]
Heritage status Queensland listed structure
Closed 14 July 2010
Coordinates 27°16′43″S 153°04′00″E / 27.278748°S 153.066802°E / -27.278748; 153.066802Coordinates: 27°16′43″S 153°04′00″E / 27.278748°S 153.066802°E / -27.278748; 153.066802

Hornibrook Bridge was one of three bridges that crossed Bramble Bay, Queensland, Australia. The second is the Houghton Highway, which was built to accommodate rising traffic levels on the two-lane Hornibrook Bridge in the 1970s to increase capacity and cope with future demand. The third is the Ted Smout Memorial Bridge, which opened to traffic in July 2010 and led to the demolition of the historic Hornibrook Bridge.


The Hornibrook Bridge was opened by Queensland Premier Arthur Edward Moore on 14 October 1935, connecting the Redcliffe district at Clontarf and Brisbane City at Brighton. The bridge had a length of 2.684 kilometres (1.668 mi),.[1] At the time of completion, it was the longest bridge in the southern hemisphere, and the second longest in the world after the Maestri Bridge in the United States. Up until its closure to road traffic in 1979, it was the longest vehicular traffic bridge in Australia. The bridge originally had two traffic lanes and a pedestrian footpath. It was named after Sir Manuel Hornibrook, the chief engineer of the project.

Hornibrook bridge opening 1935

Timber for the construction of the bridge was brought down the North Pine and Pine rivers on barges. The hardwood used in piles and girders mostly came from timber mills around Maleny.

Handsome art-deco concrete abutment arches frame the entry and exit approaches. Construction of the bridge was important for the growth of the Redcliffe City peninsula and made the commute to Brisbane shorter and quicker, increasing population growth and the number of visitors to the seaside location. The bridge was known colloquially by the locals as the "Humpity Bump" because the road surface of the bridge was so buckled. During King Tides, waves would crash into (and sometimes onto) the bridge spraying the cars as they crossed. The bridge was operated and maintained by a private company and a toll applied for much of its life as a traffic bridge, with toll booths set up on the Clontarf side. The bridge closed to traffic in 1979 with the opening of the Houghton Highway.

Looking north, Houghton Highway on right. 2005-08-14

Use after 1979[edit]

After its closure to motorised traffic in 1979, the bridge became a popular site for recreation and fishing. The bridge also provided the only pedestrian and cycling link between the Northern Suburbs of Brisbane and the Redcliffe Peninsula.

The bridge was closed to foot traffic on 14 July 2010.[2] Before its closing, the Hornibrook Bridge was the longest footbridge in the world. Currently, this title is held by the Poughkeepsie Bridge, located in Poughkeepsie, New York, USA.

The structure was given a heritage listing from the Queensland State Government, however concern over State and Council co-operation regarding ongoing maintenance led to the creation of an e petition for the Legislative Assembly of Queensland to legislate to protect and preserve the bridge.

It was a component of the South East Queensland Infrastructure Plan and Program before it was decided that the bridge would be demolished.


Southern portal of the former Hornibrook Highway Bridge. 2012-12-31

The Hornibrook Bridge was demolished in mid-2011. The only sections remaining are the two iconic entry portals. At the Clontarf end, the original structure has been converted into a walkway and fishing platform. The Ted Smout Memorial Bridge now serves as the pedestrian and bicycle crossing of Bramble Bay.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Redcliffe Historical Society. "Hornibrook Highway Bridge". Retrieved 2009-05-23. 
  2. ^ Final Curtain for the Hornibrook Highway