The Federal and Queensland governments are again exploring a Brisbane western bypass road – originally scrapped in 2008 – with $7 million confirmed to recommence planning 11 years on.
The concept is similar to former transport minister Paul Lucas’ western bypass, which was scrapped in 2008 “because the numbers did not stack up”.
That 2008 project had three streams. At one level it wanted to connect the Warrego Highway with the Bruce Highway, west of the Brisbane CBD.
Two routes were ruled out; one near Lake Wivenhoe and another just west of Mt Coot-tha.
The third option in 2008 included these proposals:
- A future tunnel from Toowong to Everton Park (between the Western Freeway and Stafford Road)
- A future road link from Stafford to Aspley (Trouts Road Corridor) that would connect with the Toowong-to-Everton Park tunnel
- Upgrading Stafford Rd between Everton Park and Kedron, including constructing a tunnel for private vehicles while public transport priority would use Stafford Road
- Protecting road corridors already preserved and planning future road upgrades to service Samford Valley and Moggill.
Let’s wait and see if it comes to fruition this time.
The federal government has allocated the money for a “North Brisbane-Bruce Highway Western Alternative” in new infrastructure funding negotiated with the Queensland government.
They are looking for a corridor for a four-lane, or possibly six-lane, inland alternative to the Bruce Highway.
A 35-kilometre stretch from Dohles Rocks Road at Kallangur to Steve Irwin Way at Beerburrum, is part of that planning, Transport Minister Mark Bailey has confirmed.
The preliminary study examines the “viability of constructing a western alternative corridor parallel to the Bruce Highway in north Brisbane”.
Transport Minister Mark Bailey said it was time to investigate alternatives to the Bruce Highway.
“There is a significant funding commitment from both levels of government to keep the Bruce moving north of Brisbane,” Mr Bailey said.
“But we must also look for alternatives to serve those growing communities on both sides of the highway between North Lakes and Caboolture.
“We’ve started the initial and high-level process to look at a number of potential north-south intra-regional arterial links parallel to the Bruce to meet that growing demand,” he said.
Preliminary details of the new business case were confirmed by deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack last week, after the issue was identified in a single dot point in a media release during the roads infrastructure announcements last week by Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.
“The federal government has committed $10 million to fund a business case for the North Brisbane (Bruce Highway Western Alternative) project, including $7 million in accelerated funding as announced today,” a spokesman for Mr McCormack said.
“The business case will investigate a western alternative corridor parallel to the Bruce Highway to the north of Brisbane. An alternative corridor would relieve congestion and improve safety outcomes for commuters and businesses in the growing northern Brisbane region. It would also reduce local trips from the Bruce Highway.”
The Queensland government has also committed $800,000 towards a two-year study into that corridor, for what is known as the Moreton Bay Western Arterial Corridor.
That study is still in its very early stages and Moreton Bay Regional Council has also committed funding towards that planning, Mr Bailey said.
There are also separate studies underway to look at route options on both the western and the eastern sides of the Bruce Highway to serve rapidly developing areas there.
One of those projects is known as the Strathpine East Arterial proposal, the Department of Transport and Main Roads said.
“Rapid residential development in the surrounding areas is placing heavy demands on the Bruce Highway and Gympie Arterial with traffic delays already being experienced during peak periods,” a departmental spokesman said.
The Strathpine East Arterial is a proposed four-lane (ultimately six-lane) transport corridor that will connect Dohles Rocks Road in Kallangur with the road network to the south at Carseldine,” he said.
“The Australian government’s funding announcement on November 20 of $7 million is an opportunity to accelerate the planning.”
These studies will present high level options for potential future corridors, land requirements and strategic cost estimates, the department said.
Mr Bailey said the Department of Transport and Main Roads would now work with the relevant local governments and the community.
“My expectation is that the community will be heavily involved in any conversation concerning future road or transport corridors in Queensland,” he said.
All were seen as long-term options which may be viable in the mid-2020s, Mr Lucas said in 2008.
In 2008 governments instead then backed the TransApex series of tunnel projects: the Clem7, Airport Link and Legacy Way tunnels, and Brisbane’s underground rail project, the $5.4 billion Cross River Rail.
The RACQ said its brief understanding was the 2019 concept was different to the ideas floated in 2008.
Source: Brisbane Times