Howard Smith Wharves cliff remediation project - Brisbane City

Brisbane City Council will be undertaking cliff remediation works at the Howard Smith Wharves cliffs in 2024. This work is part of our commitment to ensure these open spaces are safe and accessible for the community into the future.

Project summary

AddressHoward Smith Wharves
WardCentral Ward
Project outcomesFuture remediation and maintenance of the cliff face
Latest update

Start of construction


About the cliffs

This image is taken from the Brisbane River looking at the Howard Smith Wharves precinct, the cliff face, and the story bridge.

The cliffs are approximately 500 metres long and stand 30 metres tall behind the Howard Smith Wharves precinct, between New Farm and the Brisbane River.

Like any cliff face, these cliffs are continuously affected by human and natural elements, including weather and vegetation growth, and require remedial works to manage the risk of rockfall.

We have been proactively managing the Howard Smith Wharves cliff face through regular monitoring and maintenance to ensure the stability of the cliff face and safety of the community.

Interim exclusion measures were implemented between 2022 and 2023 to enhance safety around the precinct in preparation for these upcoming remediation works.

Cliff remediation works

We have designed an effective long-term solution for the cliffs and are pleased to confirm that works to remediate the cliffs will start in late January 2024.

Our remedial works will involve a range of specialised construction techniques to:

  • remove vegetation and loose rocks from the cliff face
  • secure the rock face with rock pins and coloured steel mesh
  • install a protective spray-on concrete (shotcrete) layer on section of the cliff face.

The shotcrete will be sculpted and colour matched to blend in with the surrounding rock as much as possible.

This work will improve community safety by managing the risk of rockfall as the cliff continues to evolve naturally.

Works across the cliffs will be completed in eight portions to help coordinate access requirements and minimise disruption to the local community as much as possible.

This will include work at both the bottom and the top of the cliffs as we work between Felons Brewing Co and Bougainvillea House.

These remediation works have been carefully assessed and designed by geotechnical specialists to ensure quality outcomes and ongoing safety for the community.

Download the map of works for more details on the location and timing of the remediation works.

Project timing

The eight portions of work will be undertaken in stages in 2024:

  • Portion 8 - complete
  • Portion 7 - complete
  • Portion 5 - mid-March for up to 8 weeks
  • Portion 6 - mid-March for up to 8 weeks
  • Portion 4 - mid-April for up to 7 weeks
  • Portion 2 - June for up to 2 weeks
  • Portion 1 - June for up to 5 weeks
  • Portion 3 - June for up to 6 weeks.

Timings are subject to site and weather conditions.


Works will be undertaken Monday to Friday, from 7am to 5pm. Noisier activities will be restricted to Monday to Thursday, from 7am and 4pm.

Throughout the project, nearby residents, businesses and users of the area may experience:

  • increased noise, truck movements, vibration and dust
  • temporary changes to pedestrian and cyclist access, managed with traffic control and signage
  • temporary traffic lane closures for construction access and deliveries, as required
  • restricted access to certain buildings and facilities during the works.
Laydown area – Bowen Terrace and Wilson Outlook Reserve

A construction laydown area and site compound will be established at the top of the cliffs in Council parkland along Bowen Terrace, opposite Kent Street.

This will be in place for the duration of the works (late January to mid-2024) and will be closed for safety.

Additional laydown areas will be temporarily established at the top of the cliffs while works are underway on nearby portions and will be removed after those works are complete. This includes a portion of Wilson Outlook Reserve and parkland opposite Harcourt Street. View our project map overleaf to see these areas and the expected works duration.

The laydown areas will be fenced and house essential construction equipment, vehicles, site sheds and other key equipment required to complete the works. These areas are required for accessing the top of the cliffs where experienced workers will move up and down the cliff face to complete works.

Pedestrian and cyclist access changes

There will be a range of access changes for people walking and riding in and around the precinct while works are underway and temporary work zones are established. Access will be maintained throughout the works, however you may experience some minor delays while travelling through certain work zones.

  • Portion 6 and 8 (Bowen Terrace) – people walking and riding will be diverted onto a temporary on-road shared path on Bowen Terrace during working hours (7am to 5pm) at portion 6 and 8. On-street parking at these two locations will be restricted while the temporary on-road pathway is in place. The off-road pathways and on-street parking will be reinstated outside of working hours (7pm to 5am).
  • Portion 1, 2 and 3 (near Bougainvillea House) – the pathway between the East Lift and Bougainvillea House will be temporarily restricted during working hours (7am to 5pm) while works occur on these portions. A temporary pathway will be created to maintain access through the area.
  • Portion 7 (near Felons Lawn) – The shared path near Felons Lawn will be reduced to approximately 3 metres wide between 7am and 5pm when works are underway on portion 7. Traffic controllers will be on site to help you move through the area and facilitate access to our temporary work zone at the base of the cliff.

The cliff remediation works will involve removing up to 20 trees and other ground coverings from the cliff face, including 15 weed species.

We will be replanting 6 trees on top of the cliff to offset this removal and keep our suburbs cooler, shadier and greener.

More information

We appreciate your patience as we work to ensure the stability of the cliff face and the safety of those who work in or visit this popular precinct.

For more information or to ask questions about the Howard Smith Wharves cliff maintenance project: 

  • phone the project team on 1800 314 762 (during business hours)
  • phone Council on 07 3403 8888 (after hours)
  • email the project team.
Last updated:

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