Opened six months ahead of schedule in June 2021, Indooroopilly Riverwalk is a pedestrian and cycle bridge along the bank of the Brisbane River, with entry and exit points along the way.
Providing a safe route for people riding and walking – as part of their commute, access to school, or for the joy of exploring – the Riverwalk has separated cycle lanes and a dedicated pedestrian path. Residents and visitors can enjoy the outlook from several viewing platforms.
Key challenges included providing safe connections that addressed the topographical constraints – including potential steep grades to adjoining pathways, speed differential between active mode users, and flood resilience.
Working closely with Brisbane City Council, we recommended removing a disused building to improve the safety of the connection to Witton Barracks, resulting in easier access and reduced construction costs. Our detailed flood modelling improved constructability, leading to both reduced construction time and long-term bridge maintenance costs.
We explored how sustainability principles could be applied – on a macro level, such as network connectivity, through to connection to nature, social benefit, optimising design for resilience and efficiency for carbon reduction; as well as on a micro level, looking at safe and inclusive design details.
1dedicated pedestrian path
Designing for community, environment and floods
At the pre-concept stage, two options were explored with Brisbane City Council:
Widening the existing road corridor: Radnor Street is on a steep embankment and widening the existing road corridor to accommodate the shared use path would have required extensive works. There were several environmental concerns with this option, including impacts on mature trees with hollows suitable for nesting fauna, and a protected species of marine flora (Lilaeopsis Brisbanica), identified in the tidal zone.
Constructing a separate elevated structure located in the Brisbane River: This option was selected as it allowed the Riverwalk to be constructed in the river, with minimal disturbance to flora and fauna. This also allowed the Riverwalk to be constructed at an independent grade to Radnor Street, providing a much flatter, more comfortable route for cyclists and pedestrians.
Further considerations included:
Designing for floods: Both the Indooroopilly Riverwalk and Brisbane Botanic Gardens Riverwalk become fully inundated in flood events above a 50-year design period – 2% AEP (annual exceedance probability). Sections of the Brisbane River along the alignment of the Indooroopilly Riverwalk reach up to 6.0m/s. Design and detailing of the structure needed to accommodate the high forces from flood loading.
Pedestrian and cycle pathways in the tidal zone: Design, durability and construction considerations were driven by providing a solution that minimised environmental and flood afflux impacts.
Enhanced community experience: The Riverwalk met users’ needs and comfort, for all ages and abilities, with the two-way cycle lanes, dedicated pedestrian lane and separate viewing platforms.
What an experience, to be riding along Indooroopilly Riverwalk on opening day! Seeing all the smiles and the enjoyment of parents with kids learning to ride, people on all types of bikes and people walking and admiring the view. I rode up and back and smiled to myself the entire time. I couldn’t be prouder of what we achieved together.” Kylie Nixon Associate Principal
Throughout the project, we produced consultation material to support Brisbane City Council’s community engagement program. These materials included renders and flythroughs, which Council shared with both the local and wider communities who had a keen interest in the positive impact the riverwalk would make to Brisbane’s active transport network.