Flood Resilient and Accessible Ferry Terminals for Brisbane

About the Entry

Brisbane’s new generation ferry terminals grew from the imaginations of a team passionate to find a better way to make critical transport infrastructure more flood resilient and allow travellers to better celebrate the river.

The result: natural disaster resilience that allows operations to return shortly after flooding.

Features & Benefits

01

Marriage of Form and Function

The unique flood resilient design is a bold concept and a significant shift away from previous design convention in aesthetics and accessibility.

To enhance the commuters’ experience and connection to the city’s key natural feature, its river, a single upstream pier removes all visible piles from the river landscape.

The pontoon is functional and aesthetically appealing, providing largely unobstructed views of the river.

Boundaries were pushed across every element of design to make these modern and elegant terminals synonymous with Brisbane’s forward-looking attitude to public transport and an iconic feature of the river city.

Dynamic and Static Elements for Functional Public Infrastructure

The resilient design allows everyone to access and enjoy the river, reduces post-flood downtime and increases the network capacity by being cleverly configured for dual berthing.

An upstream fender absorbs impact and deflects heavy objects to prevent damage.

A boat-hull inspired pontoon reduces negative lift on leading edge and drag force during floods. The gangway is buoyed to automatically detach from the shore, swinging behind the pontoon and out of the way of debris, while the mooring point changes function to provide lateral restraint to the pontoon.

Believed to be a world-first for compliant disabled access, the unique gangway mechanics maintain level intermediate landings throughout the tidal range.

Improved Safety for the Public and Operators

The safety of all who use and operate the terminals was a core design tenet. Flood-safe design reduces the risk of structural elements becoming dislodged and causing damage.

The automatically releasing gangways eliminate the need for staff to come close to flood waters. Ferry operation is improved by facilitating dual-berthing, including features which allow ferries to safely approach and depart in a range of tidal directions.

Design for circulatory movement on the pontoons, various options for seating, open spaces and ramps promote a safe environment for all passengers.

The design sets a new bar for disabled access compliance and the severity of a design flood event.

A Focus on Sustainability

The design enhances commuters’ experience of and connection to the city’s key feature — its river. The terminals are integrated and linked across eight socially and environmentally different landscapes and passengers can return to using ferry transport shortly after a flood.

The flood release system solely uses flood flow and geometric mechanisms. It is fully automatic and requires no external inputs.

The terminals use low power LED lighting for which the Council buys green power. Elements from the previous terminals were repurposed wherever possible and the need for additional and replacement materials has been deliberately reduced by a design that reduces maintenance requirements and replacement parts.

Built to Last

Conscious of our responsibility to design for future generations, the design uses durable materials and resilient features: such as the upstream fender, crumple zones and pier deflection structure, and of course the detaching gangway which reduces the likelihood of damage during flood events and can be easily reinstalled.

Each primary component was considered for cost-effectiveness and designed to perform multiple functions, for example the single pier anchors the pontoon, deflects debris and also creates elegant and striking signage.

The terminals quality has been recognised as setting a benchmark in best practice, receiving Engineers Australia’s highest honour of 2016: The Sir William Hudson Award.

Intelligent Design that can be Exported to the World

This elegant flood resilient design raises the profile of the Brisbane City Council’s public transport infrastructure and can be adopted by any ferry terminal network around the world, particularly those subject to flooding.

The unique design features result in a terminal which can be returned to operation shortly after significant flood events.

The successful implementation of a world-first gangway that maintains level landings has opened up the possibility of other applications in any varying height access situations in the public transport industry, including aerobridges and cruise vessel access to name just two.

Brisbane’s New Ferry Terminals, Flood-proof, Practical and Iconic

Collaboration was at the heart of many innovations. A single sculpted pier removes visible piles from the river and the gangway also acts as a radial arm and lateral support to the pontoon. An upstream fender absorbs impact and deflects objects to prevent damage.

A boat-hull shape pontoon reduces negative lift on leading edge and drag force during floods. The gangway is buoyed to automatically detach from the shore, swinging behind the pontoon and out of the way of debris, while the mooring point changes function to provide lateral restraint to the pontoon.

Believed to be a world-first for compliant disabled access, the unique gangway mechanics maintain level intermediate landings throughout the tidal range.

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Flood Resilient and Accessible Ferry Terminals for Brisbane