Many Brisbane cyclists will have been watching the construction of the new $63.3m Kurilpa (Tank St) Bridge over the last nearly two years. Built by the state government’s Department of Public Works, it will complement the popular Goodwill Bridge by providing a dedicated pedestrian and cycle bridge at the other end of the city reach of the Brisbane River.
The bridge is finally due to be opened this Sunday, 4 October by Premier Anna Bligh in a ceremony at 10:30am, with the public being allowed on the bridge from around 11:00 am. There will also be family entertainment, children’s activities and a free sausage sizzle. Come along and show the Premier how much interest there is in the community in new cycle facilities! See the link above for more details.
An aspect of the new bridge that hasn’t received quite so much attention is the connectivity that bridge will provide. Left by the state government to work out how cyclists should get to and from the bridge, Brisbane City Council has taken the opportunity to roll out the first bi-directional, protected bike lanes in Brisbane. Tank St itself (where the bridge lands) is now one-way to motorised traffic but has a two-way bike lane separated from the motor traffic by a concrete kerb. It runs from the bridge up to George St, which also has a new, two-way bike lane, separated from motor traffic by a rubber separator, and connecting to existing bike lanes on Herschel St, Roma St and Turbot St (recently constructed as part of the King George Square cycle centre project.
Another interesting aspect of the construction of the new lane on George St is that it involved reclamation of road space from car parking. That’s a win for sustainable and efficient transport in the city, but always politically tricky. We’re hopeful that this project will be seen as enough of a success to get the political support required so that in the future we’ll see more protected bike lanes and more connectivity through and around the city. Of course, the more provision we have for cyclists on the roads the more people will be encouraged to cycle, and the more people that cycle the easier this job gets!