The Brisbane Riverwalk connects the Bicentennial Bikeway to New Farm and Merthyr, following the north side of the Brisbane River.
The new Riverwalk
After being washed away in 2011, the Riverwalk was in limbo for three years until the new structure was opened in September 2014.
The Riverwalk is a great way to get from New Farm to the city as it follows along the river rather than winding through the steep hills approaching Fortitude Valley. The Riverwalk has segregated pedestrian and cycle infrastructure, so you’re free to ride or walk at whichever pace you choose.
The new Riverwalk includes shaded rest and viewing areas similar to other bikeways in the area.
The old Riverwalk
The floating walkway was a unique, floating structure completely detached from the riverbank which took people out into the middle of the river to admire Brisbane City from a unique vantage point.
The floating walkway started at Merthyr Road and finished just before the Story Bridge. This stretch of bikeway still goes through the historic Howard Smith Wharves which are amongst the last of the undeveloped Brisbane riverfront real estate.
The bikeway connected to the bicentennial bikeway which continues to Toowong.
During the 2011 floods, the floating riverwalk became submerged and at rist of breaking up. Considering the nature of the structure it was decided on January 12th to demolish the riverwalk to prevent any damage to property downstream.
This never took place, instead the riverwalk broke up of its own accord later that night, and was escorted safely down the Brisbane River by a tug boat.
Rebuilding the Riverwalk
Lord Mayor Graham Quirk announced in April 2013 that having secured funding from the federal and state governments, the iconic Riverwalk linking New Farm to Brisbane City would start construction and be completed in mid 2014.
In its time before being washed downstream in the devastating 2011 floods, the original Riverwalk hosted more than 3,000 cyclists, pedestrians and runners on a daily basis, making it one of the most popular links within Brisbane.
It was an iconic feature of the city, and the completion of these works will help bring it back bigger and better than ever.
The main focuses of the reconstruction project were cost and sturdiness, with the previous floating walkway costing $650,000 annually to maintain. The new construction is a fixed walkway constructed 3.4 metres above the mean sea level and follow a similar route to the previous structure which will also have a significantly lower maintenance cost, and is expected to be able to survive a one-in-2000 year flood.