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New life for Victoria Bridge abutment

02 July, 2015

Brisbane’s heritage-listed Victoria Bridge abutment will fully open for the first time in 15 years at an official launch at South Bank today.

Environment, Parks and Sustainability Chairman Councillor Matthew Bourke said the Victoria Bridge abutment was one of Brisbane’s most precious historical landmarks.

“Victoria Bridge abutment was built in 1896 as a part of an earlier version of the Victoria Bridge and this refurbishment will help to preserve Brisbane’s rich and colourful past,” Cr Bourke said.

“The new-look abutment gives visitors and residents a new vantage point to see South Bank’s stunning river, parkland and city views.

“The abutment features commemorative signage and plaques depicting moments in Brisbane's history, a viewing platform and stone finishing.”

Cr Bourke said the program of works also included a new pedestrian bridge between Victoria Bridge and the abutment.

“Council has installed CCTV and new lighting, refurbished the existing pavement, and put in place new signage outlining the monument’s rich history,” he said.

“These works have also fixed previous safety issues that caused the abutment to be closed and will ensure the abutment can be enjoyed by residents for years to come.”

Among the plaques is a memorial for an eleven year old Greek Australian boy, Hector Vasyli, who was killed when he was accidentally struck by a passing vehicle at the south side of the bridge during a celebratory procession of returning World War One troops in 1918.

The accident devastated the local community and to this day, the abutment holds cultural significance for the Greek community of Brisbane.

The current Victoria Bridge, which opened in 1969, is the bridge’s fourth iteration. The first, built in 1865, was made of wood and was overcome by a woodworm infestation, while the second, which opened in 1874, was destroyed in Brisbane’s 1893 floods.

The third iteration was steel-framed and opened in 1897. This version was demolished to make way for today’s sturdier concrete bridge.

This $450,000 project has been funded by the State Government.

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