Kingsford Smith Drive Upgrade: ‘Geotechnical Conditions’ Reason for Riverfront Delay

Piling activity begins at the Kingsford Smith Drive Upgrade in 2017 Photo credit: LendleaseGroup/YouTube

The River Walk in Kingsford Smith Drive is now open to pedestrians and cyclists, but it appears the project will not be completed anytime soon. Lendlease, the developer working on the $650m upgrade, announced that significant additional work will be required along the riverfront.

The key reason for the Kingsford Smith delay are the geotechnical conditions encountered during marine construction activities between Bretts Wharf and Cameron Rocks Reserve. It was supposed to be complete by the end of 2019, if not for the “retaining wall” found in the Brisbane River.


The delay has stirred different opinions from locals, with some saying they will have to buy a bicycle now and enjoy the River Walk in Kingsford Smith Drive. On the contrary, others are suggesting that it is much better if the millions of dollars allocated for the Kingsford Smith Drive upgrades was spent on increasing the frequency of the ferries and the one bus line that services the area.

“This doesn’t surprise me. Major road widening projects are expensive, prone to lengthy delays, and have significant negative impacts on the surrounding community,” Councillor for the Gabba Jonathan Sri wrote in a Facebook post.

Lendlease noted that despite the project team’s best efforts, works between Hunt Street and Harbour Road, Hamilton will now continue until the second half of 2020.

Kingsford Smith Drive Upgrades

Following the opening of the new 1.2 kilometre River Walk in December 2018, Lendlease will open the rejuvenated Cameron Rocks Reserve to the public by mid-2019. The eastern section of Kingsford Smith Drive from Harbour Road to Eagle Farm is expected to be completed in time for the opening of the new Cameron Rocks.

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Based on their projected timeline, Bretts Wharf will be open to the public by late 2019.  The entire upgrades with all the works along the riverfront is expected to be completed by 2020.


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