Riverside Drive, Perth

Riverside Drive in Perth, Western Australia, is a road on the northern side of Perth Water. It was built on reclaimed land in the 1930s, and links The Causeway to the Narrows Bridge.

Riverside Drive

OIC perth 2008 view of esplanade from PCEC.jpg
View from the Perth Convention Centre, 2008
General information
Length3.4 km (2.1 mi)
Route number(s) State Route 5
Major junctions
Eastern section
East end The Causeway (State Route 5), East Perth
  Plain Street (State Route 65)
West end Barrack Street (State Route 53)
Western section
North-east end William Street (State Route 53)
  Mitchell Freeway (State Route 2)
South-west end Mounts Bay Road (State Route 5), Perth

Route descriptionEdit

Riverside Drive is part of State Route 5. It begins at the intersection of The Causeway, Adelaide Terrace, and Hay Street, which is a traffic light controlled raindrop roundabout. Riverside Drive heads west-north-west, parallel to the edge of Perth Water and the city's other arterial roads. It passes by Langley Park and the Supreme Court gardens before reaching Barrack Street and the Barrack Street Jetty. Until 26 January 2014, it continued through to William Street alongside the former site of The Esplanade, now the location of Elizabeth Quay. Ramps to the Kwinana Freeway and from the Mitchell Freeway connect to the intersection with William Street, with Riverside Drive's western section continuing as a one-way road south-westbound, following the Swan River and passing beneath the Narrows Bridge, before ending at the Point Lewis Roundabout on Mounts Bay Road.[1]


1950s plan for a bus station on the Esplanade which shows the then alignment of Riverside Drive. River reclamation during the construction of the Mitchell Freeway realigned Riverside Drive to run in a more southerly route.

Riverside Drive which was planned in 1903, but which was not completed until the 1930s due to the need to have reclaimed land on which to build the road.[2][3]

Construction of the road in the 1930s was seen as a threat to the lightering trade on the Swan River between Perth and Fremantle.[4]

In the early 20th century the name of the road carried beyond its current length; proposed river-side roads were mentioned for South Perth[5] and the northern shore of the Swan River as far as Peppermint Grove.[6]

Crowds on Riverside Drive for the 2015 Australia Day celebrations

Plans to widen were proposed in 1985 and in 1986.[7][8][9]

Significant changes in the landscaping along Riverside Drive were made in 1999.[10]

At times of heavy rains and the Swan River flooding, Riverside Drive has been affected seriously,[11] in the 1930s and 1940s[12][13][14][15][16] as well as more recently.[17]

Section closureEdit

Riverside Drive was closed for the Australia Day celebrations and fireworks on 26 January 2014, however unlike other roads in the area, it remained closed between Barrack Street and William Street due to the construction of Elizabeth Quay.[18][19]

Several groups and individuals have previously raised concerns about the impact on the Perth road network resulting from the diversion of Riverside Drive traffic around the new Elizabeth Quay inlet.[20][21][22] The mayors of seven surrounding local government areas issued a joint statement stressing the importance of completing certain roadworks prior to the diversion of Riverside Drive.[23] The Graham Farmer Freeway has had additional lanes installed in the Northbridge Tunnel to encourage motorists to bypass the city. The Royal Automobile Club raised early concerns that loss of the emergency lanes might affect emergency response times.[24] Although a tunnel, either under the inlet or as part of one of the suggested alternative schemes, has previously been dismissed, the suggestion that a tunnel might be built at some time in the future has not been totally dismissed.[25] In January 2014 the Opposition again raised concerns that the closure would lead to further congestion, but the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority were confident that drivers would adapt to the change.[26] In preparation for the closure, Riverside Drive had been reduced by one lane through that section.[26]

See alsoEdit

Route map:

KML is from Wikidata

  Australian Roads portal


  1. ^ Perth Central Business District (PDF) (Map). Cartography by Western Australian Land Information Authority. Government of Western Australia. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 May 2013.
  2. ^ Seddon, George; Ravine, David, 1955- (1986), A city and its setting : images of Perth, Western Australia, Fremantle Arts Centre Press, ISBN 978-0-949206-08-4CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link) – see text on page 81 regarding reclamation required and map on page 82
  3. ^ "RIVER RECLAMATION". The West Australian. Perth: National Library of Australia. 25 May 1934. p. 23. Retrieved 5 March 2012.
  4. ^ "RIVERSIDE DRIVE". Western Mail. Perth: National Library of Australia. 17 June 1937. p. 27. Retrieved 5 March 2012.
  5. ^ "RIVERSIDE DRIVE". The West Australian. Perth: National Library of Australia. 11 December 1937. p. 25. Retrieved 5 March 2012.
  6. ^ "RIVERSIDE DRIVE FROM PERTH TO PEPPERMINT GROVE". The West Australian. Perth: National Library of Australia. 12 June 1936. p. 27. Retrieved 5 March 2012.
  7. ^ Wainwright, Robert.[Lee Steere criticised Perth City Council over decision to widen Riverside Drive] West Australian, 19 Feb. 1986, p. 1e-g, 11c-d
  8. ^ Wainwright, Robert.[Storm over plans for widening of Riverside Drive and for foreshore area] West Australian, 20 Feb. 1986, p. 3a-f
  9. ^ Conservationists oppose Perth City Council's plans to widen Riverside Drive West Australian, 21 May 1986, p. 1a-d
  10. ^ [Articles on redevelopment of Riverside Drive] Description of landscaping and lighting installed. Westscape, Vol. 1, No. 1, (1999), p. 6-7,
  11. ^ see Swan River (Western Australia)#Flood events for issue of regularity of the flooding and Scott, C. F; Western Australia. Harbours and Rivers Branch. Coastal Investigations Section (1977), Swan River flood study : an extreme event analysis of Barrack St. tide data (1930-1976), Public Works Dept. of Western Australia, Harbours and Rivers Branch, Coastal Investigation[s] Section, retrieved 17 April 2012
  12. ^ "SEVERE STORMS". The West Australian. Perth: National Library of Australia. 20 July 1932. p. 15. Retrieved 17 April 2012.
  13. ^ "FLOOD WATERS ON ESPLANADE". The West Australian. Perth: National Library of Australia. 19 June 1945. p. 3. Retrieved 17 April 2012.
  14. ^ "ALONG THE WATERFRONT". The West Australian. Perth: National Library of Australia. 23 June 1945. p. 8. Retrieved 17 April 2012.
  15. ^ "NEWS AND NOTES". The West Australian. Perth: National Library of Australia. 23 June 1945. p. 6. Retrieved 17 April 2012.
  16. ^ "Fine Spell Forecast As Floods Recede". The Daily News. Perth: National Library of Australia. 16 July 1946. p. 1 Edition: CITY FINAL. Retrieved 17 April 2012.
  17. ^ 1996 – http://pandora.nla.gov.au/pan/23604/20040615-0000/www.mediastatements.wa.gov.au/cabinet/mediast/dg96-30/lewriver.html
  18. ^ "Road Closures". Australia Day Skyworks. City of Perth. 2014. Archived from the original on 21 January 2014. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
  19. ^ "Road closures for Skyworks and beyond". RAC eNews. January 2014. Archived from the original on 21 January 2014. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
  20. ^ Submission: MRS Waterfront Amendment – CityVision. Published 19 October 2011. Retrieved 24 March 2012.
  21. ^ Traffic Chaos Archived 18 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine – thecitygatekeepers. Retrieved 24 March 2012
  22. ^ Closure of Riverside Drive Concerns City Archived 24 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine – City of South Perth. Published 6 December 2011. Retrieved 24 March 2012
  23. ^ Zaw, Yoland (2012).Councils warn of waterfront gridlockThe West Australian. Published 27 February 2012. Retrieved 24 March 2012
  24. ^ Harvey, Ben and Alex Massey (2011). Waterfront traffic woes surfaceThe West Australian. Published 17 February 2011. Retrieved 24 March 2012
  25. ^ Parker, Gareth and Beatrice Thomas (2011). Lib MP urges tunnel under river inletThe West Australian. Published 10 November 2011. Retrieved 24 March 2012
  26. ^ a b Dalzell, Stephanie (22 January 2014). "Concerns raised over congestion as Riverside Drive partially closes". ABC News. Retrieved 23 January 2014.