Museum of Brisbane

Building the Story Bridge


As you may have already heard the heritage-listed Story Bridge is about to celebrate its 75th birthday. Take a walk down memory lane with us and learn about the history of one of Brisbane’s most iconic structures.

The Story Bridge stands strong across the River connecting the north and south suburbs of the city. The Museum has profiled the bridge many times before and we are excited to share some wonderful photos we recently acquired from local resident Shane K Anderson.

Shane was a “Copy Boy” in his youth at the Sunday Truth/Mirror Newspaper in Fortitude Valley. While cleaning out files one day on the job, he came across some photos of the construction of the Story Bridge and asked if he could have them. The paper agreed and they have been part of his personal collection ever since. Thank you Shane for allowing us to acquire these photos and have them as part of the Museum of Brisbane Collection. Check them out in the image gallery below:

And for those interested, here are some facts about the Story Bridge:

  • It is the longest steel cantilever bridge in Australia.
  • John Bradfield won the tender to design the bridge and it is believed he based his design off the Jacques Cartier Bridge in Montreal.
  • Construction on the bridge began in May 1935, with the first sod being turned by the then Premier of Queensland, William Forgan Smith. Components for the bridge were fabricated in a purpose-built factory at Rocklea.
  • The bridge was opened in July 1940 by Sir Leslie Orme Wilson, Governor of Queensland and named after John Douglas Story, a senior and influential public servant who had advocated strongly for the bridge’s construction.
  • The bridge is 777 metres in length and originally it was a toll bridge.