What is this structure across the Brisbane River?

Cross-river structure between Auchenflower and West End ca. 1918

These two photographs from the John Oxley Library's collection show a structure crossing the Brisbane River between Auchenflower and West End.

Is it the preliminary work for a bridge that never progressed to completion, or the laying of cross-river cables, or something else?

These images will be featured on an upcoming segment of Channel Seven's Great South East program, where the identity of this cross-river structure is briefly discussed.

If anyone knows what this structure is, we'd love to know, so please blog back.


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Do you have any idea of about when the photos were taken?

We think the images date to the 1880s

Is the Landscape in the background West End or Auchenflower?

I think it is the Brisbane connection of the undersea cable from Sanfrancisco which joined Australia it Narrowneck ,Gold Coast . This happened around 1918.There must have been cable run from Narrowneck to Brisbane crossing all the creeks...

Thanks for this information.

hey all, I have been tracking down information about this structure for the past 3 weeks when I found a similar photo on ourbrisbane. I live in Toowong and I walked down around this area to check out if I could find anything.. what I found was 4 concrete pillars 30-50cm in diameter, 1m each apart from each other..If anybody is looking for more information or have found more information about this structure, please contact me!

Thanks for this great information, it's interesting to see the discussion generated.

Was this ever resolved? i cant find the images elsewhere for cross reference. And I am led to believe the stumps are no longer there after the floods?

Hi JamesMy colleague Brian Randall who is also a presenter on the "Great South East" program informs me that the picture shows workmen laying cables.Thanks for your commentMyles Sinnamon - State Library of Queensland

Thank-you Miles, i had my suspicion that they were building a radar loop, as the structure would have only been temporary as it would block any passing watercraft.