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Higman Street Seawall - Surfers Paradise

Commencing: February 2019
Completion: June 2019
Total project cost: $1.5 million

Project information

Works to rebuild the seawall at the southern end of Narrowneck are continuing. We will be constructing 300 metres of seawall from Higman Street to Ocean Avenue, Surfers Paradise.

The seawall renewal works are being completed in coordination with the Narrowneck Oceanway works which extend from Ferny Avenue to Higman Street, Surfers Paradise.

Construction details

The works include:

  • Excavating the existing seawall and placing new armour rocks (up to four tonne each) as required to rebuild the seawall.
  • Removal of mature trees from the foreshore area including cook pines and banksias (which were planted over the seawall). New juvenile trees will be planted to replace the removed trees at the conclusion of the works.
  • Restoration of the foreshore, including revegetation of the dunes and replanting of trees.
  • Reinstatement of furniture and footpaths.

Temporary construction impacts include:

  • Temporary fencing and traffic control arrangements for site access at Higman Street.
  • Pedestrians accessing the Oceanway (shared path) will be diverted around the works.
  • Pedestrian access to the beach will be maintained through alternative access points.
  • Heavy machinery and construction materials will be located on the beach during the works.
  • We will be working to keep all disruptions to a minimum. Thank you for your patience.

Benefits for the community

  • protects our beaches from storm damage and erosion
  • ensures that everyone can enjoy a beach experience.

More information

For further information on this project please contact 1300 GOLDCOAST (1300 465 326).

For more information on the Narrowneck Oceanway and our Seawall Construction projects please see the links below.

Area of works

Download the Higman Street seawall project map (PDF 643kb)

Related information

Jump to key information
  • What is a seawall?

    Our beaches are always changing due to natural coastal processes and weather patterns. Erosion can impact our beachfront, and where relocation of infrastructure is not possible, engineered seawalls are used.

    A seawall is a wall or embankment erected to prevent the sea encroaching on, or eroding an area of land. Our seawalls are made of large boulders buried under the sand and are located along an alignment on our coast known as the A-Line and limit the extent of storm erosion that can occur.

  • Why do we need to construct the Higman Street seawall?

    Historically, Surfers Paradise is one of the Gold Coast’s most vulnerable beaches to the threat of coastal erosion. Storms and swell events can cause significant erosion along Surfers Paradise and can result in damage to public infrastructure.

    This has occurred previously in the late 1960s and early 1970s, where coastal erosion damaged the road and eroded vegetation along The Esplanade. The existing seawall was built to protect infrastructure from severe storm erosion and requires reconstruction to meet current standards.

    The Higman Street seawall project will rebuild the existing seawall to obtain a certified seawall that will protect public and private infrastructure now and into the future. Completion of this section of seawall will mean that all public seawalls in Surfers Paradise have been certified.

    The construction of seawalls forms part of our integrated coastal management program that helps protect our coastline from storm damage and erosion. This achieves the City of Gold Coast Ocean Beaches Strategy outcome ‘Our infrastructure is protected from coastal hazards’.

  • What is the Higman Street seawall project?

    This project will involve the reconstruction of up to 300 metres of existing seawall between Higman Street and Ocean Avenue, Surfers Paradise.

    The project commences in February 2019 and will take up to six months to complete. The project cost is $1.5 million.

  • Are trees being removed?

    As part of the works, we will need to remove some mature trees from the foreshore parklands area, including; cook pines, banksias, pandanus and casuarinas. These trees lie directly over the seawall and will need to be removed during the excavation and rebuilding works.

    Approximately 42 trees located along the foreshore of The Esplanade will need to be removed to allow for construction of the seawall. The City will seek to retain as many existing trees as possible during the excavation and construction works.

    New juvenile trees will be planted to replace the removed trees at the conclusion of the works. The City’s project team have obtained all required environmental approvals.

  • What is the current condition of the trees?

    The majority of the trees are in reasonable health, while a number of trees are in decline.

    Some of the species planted along the foreshore are not ideal species to have within the active beach area and have experienced slower than usual growth rates.

    The dune vegetation is relatively young (due to coastal erosion events) and will benefit from the increased diversity, composition, and species selection that will be included in the revegetation and dune rehabilitation works.

  • What trees are being replanted?

    The City will be undertaking revegetation works of the foreshore park area and dune systems as a part of this project.

    This will include planting increased numbers of young trees in the foreshore park to replace the mature trees that need to be removed as part of the works.

    The new species installed will be consistent with the existing species of the area that are suited to such an exposed coastal location.

  • What can I expect to see during the seawall construction?

    The Higman Street seawall is being constructed from Ocean Avenue to Higman Street in Surfers Paradise. Construction of the seawall will be visible through the temporary fencing.

    The works include excavating down to the existing uncertified seawall and placing new armour rocks (up to four tonnes each) as required to rebuild the seawall. Heavy machinery and construction materials will be located on the upper beach during the works.

    Trucks will deliver rock armour from nearby quarries, so increased truck movements to Higman Street will occur for the duration of the works.

  • What impacts can I expect during construction?

    We will be working to keep disruptions to a minimum; however, for the safety of the public, temporary traffic control arrangements will be in place during construction and minor delays may be experienced.

    Pedestrian access to the beach and adjacent residential areas will be maintained through alternative access points.

    Due to the location of the existing seawall, we are required to close the foreshore park between Ocean Avenue and Higman Street. Pedestrians will be diverted around the works.

    Standard construction noise and dust can be expected.

  • What will look different at project completion?

    The seawall will be buried underneath the sand and the foreshore park will be reinstated. Foreshore paths and furniture will be restored, and new vegetation planted in the park and dunes.  

  • What other works are taking place in the area?

    This project is being completed in coordination with an upgrade of the foreshore path (Oceanway) along Main Beach Parade, Narrowneck.

    The oceanway upgrade will construct a new five metre wide coloured concrete path along Main Beach Parade from Ferny Avenue to Ocean Avenue, Surfers Paradise. This will be completed at the same time as the Higman Street Seawall. For further information on this project please see the Gold Coast Oceanway - Narrowneck page.

  • What other coastal management projects are being delivered by the City?

    Our Ocean Beaches Strategy highlights the City’s ongoing commitment to managing and protecting Gold Coast beaches now and into the future.

    The Higman Street seawall project is one of the many major projects being undertaken from 2013-2023 to protect our infrastructure from coastal hazards, ensure our beaches are healthy and clean, and to ensure everyone can enjoy a beach experience.

    For more information see our Ocean Beaches Strategy page.

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