Brisbane River Ferry Terminals


Customer: Brisbane City Council

Contract: Construct Only

Location: Brisbane, Queensland

Ports & Coastal Solutions Transport Solutions Australia

Fast Facts

  • Construction of 8 ferry terminals at 7 locations
  • Zero Lost Time Injuries
  • Delivered on time and on budget
  • Awarded the Institute of Civil Engineers' Brunel Medal

This project involved the upgrade of ferry terminals at seven locations along the Brisbane River. The orginal terminals were lost or damaged in serious flooding in 2011. The upgrade was focused on delivering new modern, innovative and flood resilient terminals. The project also included one new terminal at Milton to service residential and working communities.

The new and upgraded facilities include new covered waiting areas, covered aluminium gangways, steel pontoons and a debris deflection pier capable of berthing two CityCat vessels simultaneously.

The project team worked in a challenging and continuously changing environment along the Brisbane River, with highly trafficked bikeways, major motorways and residential housing areas all in close proximity to the works.

McConnell Dowell’s approach to change management and problem solving ensured the project was a success and there were many engineering solutions developed to minimize or eliminate health and safety and environmental risks.

For example, the design was modified from multiple precast “skirts” to one single precast tub base and one single precast wall shell to provide improved access during installation. The precast tub wall shell eliminated the need to work around/ between tides, and also eliminated the environmental hazards and possible contamination of pouring concrete below mean tide level.

The pontoon columns, structural steel, roofs and fit out trades were all constructed with the aid of a crawler crane whilst the pontoons were tied up to wharfs, allowing free access and extended room for materials and deliveries in the constrained project sites.

To eliminate the hazards of conducting complicated dual lifts over water with multiple cranes and barges, construction methodology was developed to rotate the precast spires to their vertical position on land at a downstream marine yard in Murrarie, Brisbane, prior to being transported to the single construction barge on site.

The project was awarded the 2017 Brunel Medal by the Institute of Civil Engineers, the world's oldest professional engineering association. The Brunel Medal is awarded to recognise excellence in civil engineering.

In presenting the Medal, ICE President Professor Tim Broyd said,

"The project has redefined the possibilities in ferry terminal design, proudly engages the community in its unique engineering response, and reunites the Brisbane community like never before with its most defining natural asset - the Brisbane River."

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