The Kurilpa Bridge is a pedestrian and cycle bridge which connects the northern end of the Brisbane CBD to South Bank.
Kurilpa Bridge is unique in that it’s the first major pedestrian bridge in the world to use tensegrity cable stay principles. This design gives the bridge it’s distinctive spiky appearance which has led people nickname it the “sticks bridge”, or other variations on the name.
The Kurilpa Bridge connects areas on the north such as the Roma Street train station, Bicentennial Bikeway, and Roma Street Parklands to areas on the south like South Bank itself, as well as the Gallery of Modern Art and further on to Montague Road.
Getting to the Kurilpa Bridge
Getting to the Kuripla Bridge is easy from South Brisbane. You can ride along the river in either direction, so you can keep following the waterfront until you get to one of the bridges. To get to the bridge from West End, you can either duck down to the waterfront via Jane Street, or Montague Road isn’t too bad if you’re comfortable cycling on the road.
Access from the north side is generally trickier, with the only access via Tank Street. Tank Street itself has a counterflow bike lane and bike friendly traffic lights so you can ride to and from the lane on George Street. The roads on the north side of the river are confusing, so you should consult a map in advance or be prepared to stick to the footpath.
Access from the Bicentennial Bikeway is not recommended due to steep hills and a major road crossing. It’s recommended that you use the Go Between Bridge or the Goodwill Bridge if you’re using the Bicentennial Bikeway.
Interesting Facts about Kurilpa Bridge
The Kurilpa Bridge uses tensegrity construction principles to stay upright. Basically this means that each pillar is held up by the tension in the cables between pillars. None of the pillars need to touch each other to keep upright.
The bridge is additionally completely solar powered, requiring no input from the grid to keep itself lit up. The bridge has 84 solar panels which can provide 38 MWh annually, with excess power being fed back into the power grid. In addition, the Kurilpa Bridge has an advanced array of LED lighting that can be used to participate in light shows such as RiverFire, though the solar capacity alone isn’t enough to keep the bridge fully lit up.
The bridge was named World Transport Building of the Year at the World Architecture Festival in 2011.