By Alistair Gray
Artist’s impression of the old and the new Bribie Island Bridge.
Moreton Bay Regional Council Mayor Peter Flannery has launched a campaign to save the old Bribie bridge and turn it into Moreton Bay’s first ‘Green Bridge’. Mayor Flannery has long advocated for a new bridge for Bribie. He is keen for the Island and Moreton Bay Region to benefit from the opportunity the new bridge construction would bring. That is of course, if the state government pulls its finger out and makes the funding available for constructing a new bridge well before the start of the 2032 Olympics. With many opportunities for the Island as a tourist hub, using the old bridge as a centrepiece would give us a much-needed point of difference when competing for the influx of visitors leading up to and after the Olympics.
“Bribie Island welcomes 827,000 visitors every year, which according to Tourism Research Australia is the highest visitation for any statistical area in the Moreton Bay Region”, Mayor Flannery said. “If we’re ambitious, I believe the old Bribie bridge can become an icon in contemporary landscape architecture but first we need to save it from demolition. I would love to see the old bridge remain as a foot and cycle bridge, as an amenity to locals and visitors for recreation like fishing or it could be greened with plants to resemble something like New York’s High Line. Personally, I think it would be terribly wasteful to tear down an expensive piece of infrastructure rather than give it an exciting second lease on life. We must put our best foot forward when Southeast Queensland hosts the world for the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games, so we desperately need a second bridge before then.”
Repurposing the bridge for pedestrians and cyclists is like having a blank canvas with endless opportunities to do something special and unique. So let’s create one extended recreational area for the community and visitors to enjoy. A place that oozes hospitality, fun and relaxation. With restaurants and cafes, places for artists, photographers, buskers and musicians to play and meet. Masses of gardens, vegetation and trees with extended shade areas including grass and seating for visitors to take in the spectacular views. Maybe an aquarium under the bridge and a small trackless train between the caravan park and the Bongaree Jetty to bring the recreational area together. We have a once-in-a-lifetime unique opportunity to create something special. So let’s get the ideas flowing and keep our old Bribie bridge.