Ryde River Walk

“Providing seamless community access to a natural treasure of suburban Sydney”

Executive Summary

Stretching 10km from end to end, the Ryde River Walk is a popular pedestrian and cycle route following the Parramatta River from Gladesville Bridge to Ryde Bridge in Sydney. Fleetwood was engaged by the project’s landscape contractor following a successful tender to the City of Ryde Council, who was looking to upgrade access to the Walk and provide a more seamless journey through the addition of several new boardwalk sections that connected directly with existing concrete paths. Using our proven Mars™ boardwalk system, Fleetwood successfully designed, manufactured and installed the new structures, whilst preserving the area’s pristine mangrove and marine habitats.


City of Ryde





Scope of Work

Deliver, Detail



Fleetwood Involvement

Fleetwood was initially involved as part of a successful tender to City of Ryde. Our first task was to find ways to deliver cost savings on the project, which we did by recommending our in-house Mars™ boardwalk system. This was accepted by the client and, by the time the project was completed, the entire boardwalk had been designed, constructed and certified by Fleetwood Urban using our DesignExecute2™ delivery model.

More Project Information


The site was filled with design challenges. Many areas of the boardwalk location were inundated at high tide. They were also difficult to access by foot – and almost impossible by vehicle – and environmentally sensitive, being both a marine and mangrove habitat. This meant the design needed to be achievable using minimal excavation.


Access was an ongoing challenge for our crews. Coupled with the sensitive marine environment, it meant we needed to use lightweight materials and a foundation system that would cause minimal intrusion into the substrate. Our Mars™ boardwalk was perfect for this. Another issue was the tide. We could only install sections closest to the water when the river level was low and had to ensure all items were fixed down before high tide, otherwise they would have floated away.


The scale and location of the boardwalk meant we had to continually think outside the square in terms of design and construction. Fortunately, the highly flexible Mars™ system allowed us to modify the design to match changes in the natural terrain and shoreline by adding curves, or passing straight over the water.


  • Public boardwalk

  • FRP minimesh
  • FRP
  • Stainless steel

  • Mars™ boardwalk

Working on, over and beside the tidal Parramatta River gave this project added risks. Many sections of the boardwalk were difficult to access and inundated by water daily, making them unstable and slippery.


The bulk of the project took place in sensitive natural environments. This called for an approach that caused minimal disturbance to the ground and surrounding ecology. Our Mars™ system enabled this to happen, with support posts being driven in by hand and all components carried in by hand as well. The use of machinery was kept to a bare minimum.


The river walk provides rich social connections for the entire community to enjoy. As the City of Ryde explains on its website: “From Gladesville Bridge to Ryde Bridge, Ryde River Walk provides walkers and cyclists with breathtaking river and city skyline views as it meanders into bays, parks and playgrounds, through bushland and mangroves, past historic sites, Aboriginal cultural heritage sites and art installations.”


All community engagement was managed by the client, City of Ryde.


By linking with the existing concrete path network, the new boardwalk completes the Ryde River Walk. It provides a safe and seamlessly-connected way for residents to get close to the Parramatta River, exploring the local habitat and experiencing a relatively untouched natural environment, just moments from the bustle of Sydney suburbia.