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   Aug 24

Thousands flock to Story Bridge 75th birthday celebrations

The Story Bridge’s 75th birthday celebrations did not leave much room to move. Photo: Michelle Smith Lord Mayor Graham Quirk praised the event’s organisation. Photo: Michelle Smith
Nanjing Night Net

People queue for the 11am-12.30pm session. Photo: Michelle Smith

No birthday is complete without a cake. Photo: Michelle Smith

Story Bridge celebrates – everything you need to knowIn pictures: Brisbane celebrates an icon

It may have been closed to traffic, but the Story Bridge had never seen so much congestion.

Tens of thousands of people crammed on to the Bradfield Highway in a rare opportunity to walk within the bridge’s famous steel frame.

The queues were long and the walking was slow, but those who ventured on to the bridge, in the main, were good-natured about the trek.

The Eat Street Markets, a mainstay a few river bends away at Hamilton, offered up a range of food and drinks for those keen on a lunch with a view.

About 73,000 people were expected on the bridge over four sessions throughout Sunday, each one requiring visitors to wear differenly coloured lanyards in an attempt to stagger the flow.

The novelty value alone was the main attraction, but there were some naysayers. Social media was littered with both complaints about the organisation of the event. #StoryBridge75 was a great idea that could not have been executed worse. Won’t be surprised if the stupidity costs someone their life.— Darren (@drsbne) July 5, 2015Massive crowds, massive heat but the #StoryBridge75 is pumping pic.twitter南京夜网/TKQ5gSgULK— Scotty McDonald (@Scotty_McDonald) July 5, 2015Not sure I’m on the same Story Bridge as all the haters on social media. Crowded? Yes. Still fun? Absolutely. #StoryBridge75— Stuart Dunstan (@SRDunstan) July 5, 2015What a disaster. #StoryBridge75 didn’t even make it half way over. Should have been 6-8 x 10,000 people sessions.— Cain (@GoobaFish) July 5, 2015

But Cr Quirk said he was happy with how the logistic challenges had been met.

“It’s got that real party atmosphere to it, it’s going fine,” he said during what would likely be his one and only media conference in the middle of the Story Bridge’s far-left northbound lane.

“There is obviously a queue at the entry, but it’s going very, very well.

“People are patient, in good spirits and they’re loving the opportunity to enjoy the vista from the centre of the bridge.” Story Bridge crowds are pumping! Be patient and celebrate 75 years of Story Bridge birthdays! #storybridge75pic.twitter南京夜网/rRQr6KJ6W8— QPS Media Unit (@QPSmedia) July 5, 2015#StoryBridge75 People r grumpy not sure what they expected with 20 000 each session – 2 have bridge 2 themselves?— Celena McGovern (@CelenaMcGovern) July 5, 2015

Parochial pride stretching back 75 years was the order of the day.

“The great thing about this bridge is that it was a bridge for Brisbane built by primarily Queensland people and it was a bridge made of Brisbane steel,” Cr Quirk said.

“And that’s where we differentiate ourselves from the Sydney Harbour Bridge [which, like the Story Bridge, was also designed by Queensland engineer John Bradfield].

“The Sydney Harbour Bridge steel came from London, while all of our steel came from Rocklea in Brisbane.”

For now, Cr Quirk said the Story Bridge’s celebratory road closure was a one-off, but there may be more chances to walk on its bitumen surface in the future.

“The opportunity is there, if the event it right,” he said.

“The state and council have got a joint agreement where if we have approaches and the event is big enough, it’s right and it’s got the capacity to do it, then we’ll certainly look at that.

“But it’s not something we want to do regularly.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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