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After years of extensive research and community consultation, the City Reach Waterfront Master Plan proposing a new waterfront promenade in our city centre has been released. Extending from the Brisbane Botanic Gardens to the Howard Smith Wharves precinct, the boardwalk redevelopment is set to take up 1.5 hectares of some of the city’s most valuable commercial land with an estimated $17 million cost. Whist the Brisbane City Council is still completing ‘additional investigations’, the project is set to improve river access, highlight our heritage and revitalise Brisbane’s riverfront.

The master plan outlines key strategies and actions for the waterfront project that has been broken down into three main sections: The Port Office section, the Customs House section and the Admiralty House section. Each section has individual objectives however all of them encompass the overall key concept of the build; better connecting our city by creating opportunities for increased activity whilst incorporating Brisbane’s existing landmarks and historic sites. Strengthening our reputation as Australia’s ‘River City’, the transformation will extend the range of activities beyond dining and allow locals and visitors to make the most of our enviable climate.

With the current riverside facilities accommodating more than 3000 people per day, the 6m wide, 176m long promenade will allow for even more pedestrians and cyclists to utilise the scenic path. Described as the ‘missing link’ to our city, the project will incorporate existing and upcoming structures including the Kangaroo Point Green Bridge and the recently completed Howard Smith Wharves entertainment precinct. Research was conducted of over 20 iconic waterfronts worldwide, including Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco and Marina Bay in Singapore to identify the key qualities that contribute to their success in an attempt to implement them into this project.

Early works are planned to commence late this year, with construction said to primarily take place from a barge on the Brisbane River between 6.30am-6.30pm on weekdays. Developer Dexus has said that the riverfront promenade will be shut down from 2022-2024 for the duration of the project, with discussions in place regarding temporary routes during this time.  In the 2011 Brisbane floods, the New Farm River Walk was washed away and proved to be extremely costly to rebuild. Measures are being taken to ensure that the new construction will not meet the same fate and is strong enough to withstand any future floods.

Offering a uniquely Brisbane setting for business, life and culture, the revitalisation of the riverfront destination will also incorporate new ferry/citycat terminals, a lap pool, two new commercial towers and new dining precincts. Better connecting our city and creating a brighter horizon for community health and well-being are the direct motives of the Brisbane Boardwalk project that is set to rank Brisbane even higher on the list of the world’s most liveable cities.

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