Architectural plans of the New Victoria Bridge

UQ Library has recently digitised the plans of the New Victoria Bridge (UQFL454), designed by Alfred Barton Brady in 1893.

Brady, hand drew these amazing plans of the New Victoria Bridge, an important structure that linked the north and south banks of the Brisbane River. Construction of the New Victoria Bridge began in 1896 and Lord Charles Lamington, Governor of Queensland opened the bridge on 22 June 1897. The New Victoria Bridge was the fourth bridge constructed to cross the river at the same point at on the north bank at Queen Street across to Melbourne Street on the south. The previous bridges were either temporary structures or succumbed to flooding. 

New Victoria Bridge, Drawing No. 5, details of superstructure, outer girders, etc, Brisbane, 16 Oct 1893

The different levels of the north and south river banks created a design challenge for  Alfred Barton Brady and the engineers; however, this was overcome by incorporating a slight slope on the bridge. The bridge was constructed of iron with two stone abutments at each end. The bridge consisted of two traffic lanes operating in each direction and footpaths on both sides of the bridge. The lanes were separated by a central dividing structure, which replicated the side structures of metal latticed arched girders. The introduction of electric trams also saw the instalment of tracks on the bridge.

Having a bridge cross the river at this point contributed to the development of the industry and commerce in South Brisbane by providing important transport links between the north and south banks of the river. Housing development on the southern bank increased as did important communication links.


New Victoria Bridge, Drawing No. 2, details of abutments, fencing, lamps, etc, Brisbane, 18 Oct 1893

While this bridge was demolished in 1969 to be replaced by the present bridge, the abutment on the southern bank still exists today. It was retained as an example of stonework of the time of the bridge’s construction as well as its cultural importance to the Greek community, who maintained a memorial for Hector Vasyli, an 11 year old boy who was killed in 1918 while welcoming home soldiers from the First World War. A plaque to his memory remains on the abutment today.

You can view all of the digitised the plans of the New Victoria Bridge in UQ eSpace.

Last updated:
29 August 2016