A few facts and figures
(Ref: A Tale of Two Bridges by Philip
David Williams 1979)
Manuel Hornibrook persuaded the Queensland Government to pass legislation approving construction by M R Hornibrook Pty Ltd
of a road toll bridge from Brighton to Clontarf. Hornibrook Highway Ltd was formed in March 1932 and within
twelve months had raised thirty thousand pounds from investors who had confidence in the enterprise and in M R Hornibrook,
whose first mentioned company had completed many years of successful construction work.
Premier Mr A E Moore turned the first sod of the
project on 8 June 1932. Further fundraising for the project during the Great Depression proved difficult,
but problems were overcome.
Hundreds of timbergetters
were employed to obtain iron bark logs from Conondale and Mt Mee. A timber mill was bought and another
was built in the Conondale district to help supply the 2½ million superfeet of timber needed for the job.
The bridge consists of 294
spans of which 290 were 30 feet (9.14m) long, two were 28 feet 6 inches (8.69m) and two were 24 feet 6 inches (7.47m).
Foundation piers (pylons)
of the bridge consisted of 18 inch (45.7cm) and 15 inch (38.1cm) square reinforced concrete piles. Each
pier consisted of three concrete piles surmounted by a reinforced concrete headstock to support the ironbark superstructure.
This was constructed of six rows of 18 inch (45.7cm) and 16 inch (40.6cm) diameter dressed ironbark girders supported
on similar corbels. 1752 girders were used, all 30 feet (9.14m) long, excepting twelve which were 28 feet
6 inches (8.69m) long.
Bridge decking consisted of ironbark and tallowwood planks 4.5 inches (11.4cm) and 5 inches (12.7cm) thick, 9 inches
(22.86cm) wide and 26 feet (7.92m) long, totalling 11 696 pieces. Width of the bridge was 26 feet (7.92m)
and it was covered with a bitumen surface averaging 2.5 inches (6.35cm) in thickness.
Low water clearance of the bridge over the Pine
River channel was 21 feet (6.4m) and over the Hays Inlet channel it was 15 feet (4.57m) allowing small craft to navigate under
The Official Souvenir Book
stated, “The bridge or viaduct from Sandgate to Clontarf spans by far a wider stretch of water than any (other) bridge
in Australia and the quantity of first class hardwood timbers used in its construction is greater than (that of) any other
bridge of its kind in the world, consisting in all of 2½ million superfeet of ironbark timber.”
The Governor of Queensland,
Sir Leslie Orme Wilson, officially opened the Hornibrook Highway on 4 October 1935, at last giving Redcliffe people easy access
to Brisbane by road.
The toll for cars was one
shilling per vehicle, (1966=10 cents) with toll collectors issuing tickets for forty years.