The flood-ravaged Drift restaurant will finally be removed from the bike path along the Brisbane River, but a lane of Coronation Drive will close to motorists while the significant engineering task takes place.
- Cyclists and motorists can expect road changes along Coronation Drive from next week
- The former Drift restaurant still blocks the Bicentennial Bikeway
- The council says it decided to set up a makeshift bike path after learning that it would take another six weeks before the restaurant was removed
Brisbane City Council’s decision to turn the Coronation Drive lane into a two-way bikeway comes after the Queensland government last week enacted legislation authorizing them to remove the floating restaurant.
During the traffic changes, one of the westbound lanes of Coronation Drive between Lang Parade and Graham Street will be closed to give cyclists a safe route to travel on.
In addition, the right-turn lane from Coronation Drive into the Lang Parade will be removed and converted into a continuous lane to maintain two lanes for vehicles.
Brisbane City Council said the road speed limit in that section would be lowered to 40 kilometers per hour and water-filled safety barriers would separate vehicles and bicycle traffic.
Council President of Public Transport Ryan Murphy said the makeshift bike path on Coronation Drive was expected to open Monday morning.
He said the council had made the decision to close part of the road after the state government announced it would be six weeks before the removal work began.
“Since Drift Restaurant has been stranded on the Bicentennial Bikeway after the flood, we have advised cyclists to get off on a narrow section of the walkway along Coronation Drive,” said Mr. Murphy.
“But even if this would have been an appropriate solution for a short period of time, it is not sustainable in the six weeks it is going to take for the state government to start work.
“We understand that moving that restaurant is a significant engineering task, but Bicentennial Bikeway is the city’s bike artery. It moves about 3,000 cyclists every day, over a million cyclists every year, so it’s really important that we reopen that access.”
Murphy said the council recognized that Coronation Drive was one of the busiest roads and that the change would bother westbound drivers.
“Unfortunately, this situation is going to take longer than first assumed, and safety must be our priority,” he said.
The government moves to Drift restaurant
Deputy Prime Minister Steven Miles today instructed the Queensland Reconstruction Authority (QRA) to use its powers under the law to stabilize the restaurant.
“An independent engineering report highlighted serious safety concerns and estimates that the pontoon in its current state is considered to be at risk of immediate and sudden collapse,” Miles said.
“The Queensland Government is concerned about the findings of this report and I have asked the QRA to exercise its powers under the QRA Act to work with the MSQ [Maritime Safety Queensland] to carry out emergency stabilization and remediation work. “
Transport Minister Mark Bailey said the structure had posed a risk to safety and necessitated an exclusion zone on the Brisbane River.
“We have a duty to ensure the safety of the local community and to see important public assets, such as the cycle path and the Brisbane River, restored and hazards dealt with appropriately,” Mr Bailey said.
The first and only time the powers have been exercised was in 2011 to repair and repair the Toowoomba water pipeline, which was severely damaged during the floods.
Restaurant tenant Ken Allsop told ABC Radio Brisbane that he still wanted the former restaurant to be removed from the bike path and placed back on its piles to be repaired.
He said he had approached private companies and asked for their support to use cranes to move the structure back on its poles.
“They have gone and got an engineering report on it which I do not feel is correct … I have taken my own engineer down there to look at it,” Mr Allsop said.
He said the barge was in “very good condition” and he did not think it would be a “big job to repair”.
During the 2022 floods, water, debris and a shipping container swept into the former floating restaurant and pushed it onto the Bicentennial Bikeway.
The restaurant has been empty since it was damaged during the floods in 2011 after it crashed into Goodwill Bridge.
Sir. Allsop said earlier this month that he wanted state aid to put the restaurant back on the piles and repair the flooring before it reopened.