Brisbane’s Eleanor Schonell Bridge (previously known as the
Green Bridge) opened in December 2006. The bridge provides a
bus, pedestrian and cycle link across the Brisbane River between
Dutton Park and the University of Queensland (UQ), St Lucia.
The cable stay suspended bridge was designed and constructed for
Brisbane City Council by GHD and the John Holland Group.
This landmark bridge was completed on budget for AUD$55 million,
two months ahead of schedule. The project demonstrated
world-leading design, engineering and construction.
Key features the Eleanor Schonell Bridge are:
- Australia’s third largest cable stay bridge
- Cable stays in a ‘harp’ design for aesthetic purposes
- A 520m long crossing of the Brisbane River, with a 185m main
- Four 70m high towers
- Bridge approaches through sensitive community areas
- Bridge increased shorter, environmentally-friendly travel
options for the community
- Innovative solar-panelling creates energy-neutral power
for pedestrian lighting
- Water is collected, treated and piped from the bridge
Several complex engineering challenges were overcome, including
designing concrete to exceed the 100-year design life in a
salt-water marine environment, constructing a cable stay bridge to
the high tolerances required, consideration of water flows,
collection and treatment; and alignment of approaches to minimise
The cable stay method of construction offers only one chance to
'get it right' thus requiring close liaison between engineers and
constructors. GHD and John Holland achieved a successful and
aesthetically pleasing result through meticulous planning and
supervision of construction.
The bridge provides lifestyle benefits to the local community
with bus, bike and pedestrian access across a part of the river
previously only serviced by ferry. It also makes a significant
contribution to the Brisbane economy by easing traffic congestion
caused by motorists, previously travelling longer routes through
the city to get to UQ.
Bus approaches, passenger set-down areas and pedestrian and
cyclist access on both the St Lucia and Dutton Park sides were a
primary focus from a design, safety and environmental perspective.
Lighting of the bus/drop-off shelters and walkway was designed to
be energy neutral, incorporating the innovative use of solar
Treatment of water flows was also a major innovation, ensuring
that water entering the Brisbane River is the highest quality
possible, while water from the bridge roadway is collected, treated
and piped to the UQ bioretention ponds for use in their irrigation