Bicentennial Bikeway To Reopen Once Damaged Drift Restaurant Structure Moved

drift restaurant
Photo credit: Mark Bailey MP/Facebook

Although the process could still take weeks, the Bicentennial Bikeway is another step closer to reopening, with the mandated removal of the damaged structure of the Drift Restaurant, which was pushed onto the bikeway during the recent flooding, leaving a section closed for cyclists.

Read: Bicentennial Bikeway Closed: Bikers Call For Temporary Bikeway On Coronation Drive

Queensland Reconstruction Authority (QRA) will use its powers under the QRA Act to stabilise and make the damaged Drift Restaurant structure safe for the public.

The QRA directive comes after an independent engineering report highlighted serious safety issues and stated that ‘in its current state, the pontoon is considered to be at risk of immediate and sudden collapse.’

Mr Steven Miles said he was concerned by the findings of an engineering report, as the stabilisation of the structure was critical to restore the safety of not only the bikeway, but the Brisbane River.

“Most people have seen images of Drift impaled on river pilings at Milton during the unprecedented rain event,” Mr Miles said.

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Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey said the structure posed a risk to safety and caused an exclusion zone to be issued on the Brisbane River by the Department of Transport and Main Roads, Maritime Safety Queensland Branch (MSQ).

“The independent report recommended immediate actions to secure the site and return safe access to the waterway and bikeway,” Mr Bailey said.

As of April 2022, cranes are already in place to remove the former Drift restaurant, but authorities believe it may take weeks or more before the derelict restaurant could be completely moved. 

The restaurant is around 200 tonnes and there are only a few marine salvage companies in the country equipped with cranes big enough to lift the restaurant off the bikeway.

Photo credit: Space4cyclingbne/Facebook

With works underway, pedestrians have diverted into the cycle lane side, making it a shared path. To give cyclists a safe path to travel., one of the westbound lanes of Coronation Drive between Lang Parade and Graham Street will be closed.

Prior to the severe weather that damaged the floating restaurant, Ken Allsop, the site’s leaseholder, planned to reopen and operate the restaurant in 2022.

However, this wasn’t the first time that the Drift restaurant has been recommended for removal. During the 2011 flood in Brisbane, a large part of the restaurant ripped from its moorings in the Brisbane River before it smashed against the Go Between Bridge.