Premier Bligh Opens Queensland’s Solar Powered Bridge

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh yesterday officially opened the new $63.3 million Kurilpa Bridge in Brisbane’s CBD.

More than 1050 people were employed on the project and it is anticipated that around 36,500 people will use Kurilpa Bridge each week.

Named after the Indigenous term for “West End”, Kurilpa Bridge is the world’s largest pedestrian and cycle bridge of its kind, balancing tension and compression components to produce a light but robust structure. The structure is 470 metres long, 6.5 metres wide and has a deck thickness of 25 cm.

Over 1500 cubic metres of concrete, 550 tonnes of steel and extensive cabling in excess of 6.8 kms in length was used in the project.

One of the other unique features of the bridge is how it is lit and powered. The bridge employs a sophisticated LED lighting scheme that can be programmed to produce an array of different lighting effects, which will become a feature of Brisbane’s annual Riverfire celebrations.

75 per cent of the power required to run the LED lighting in the fully lit mode is generated by solar energy, but in most lighting configurations, 100 per cent of the power will be provided by solar with any surplus electricity returned to the main grid. The 84 solar panels used on the bridge will have an average daily output of 100kWh and an average yearly output of 38MWh

Public Works Minister Robert Schwarten said the bridge’s grid connect solar power system will see savings of around 37.8 tonnes of carbon emissions each year.