Delays put $80m bridge at risk

Published 9:10am 15 September 2023

Delays put $80m bridge at risk
Words by Nick Crockford

Urgent action is needed to ensure the Youngs Crossing bridge is built, according to City of Moreton Bay Mayor Peter Flannery.

Mayor Flannery says the $80 million project is being delayed by funding uncertainty created by Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Catherine King.

The project, relying on $32.75 million of federal funding, is currently tied up in the Federal Government’s Independent Strategic Review of its Infrastructure Investment Program.

“Today marks 136 days since Minister King put this critical project in doubt,” Mayor Flannery said.

“We can’t afford to wait for this project to be evaluated again by Canberra bureaucrats and this so called ’90-day review’ has created significant uncertainty.

“The cost of construction continues to rise while we wait on a decision, and we need assurance for the full commitment of funding now.

“We’ve completed the design work, allocated resources and are ready to go to tender.”

Mayor Flannery said the review was completed last month but council is still waiting on news of a project to which it has committed $32.25 million.

“I do hope we can all rise above politics and a decision can be made quickly so we can go to tender as soon as possible,” he said.

Youngs Crossing Rd is used by about 20,000 vehicles every day and traffic is forecast to increase to 27,500 vehicles by 2036.

During heavy rain and flooding, water releases from North Pine Dam force Youngs Crossing to close pushing traffic onto the Bruce Highway or Old Gympie Rd.

“This was a shining example of all levels of government coming together to support the needs of the community, but it is now under threat,” he said.\

“If this project doesn’t stack up in terms of contributing to a more productive, sustainable and liveable Australia then I don’t know what does.”

Federal Opposition Leader and Member for Dickson Peter Dutton agreed: “I commend the Mayor for again demonstrating just how dire the situation is without this key infrastructure.

“That’s why the previous government got behind the Youngs Crossing Road project with $32.75 million in funding.

“Frankly, the community is sick of Canberra bureaucracy getting in the way of local infrastructure delivery.

“People want to get to work and home in a timely manner, not be stuck in the chaos of other busy roads when this key connection gets blocked.”

Nikki Boyd, State Member for Pine Rivers, said the State Government had contributed $15 million to the project.

“Local commuters have been crying out for all-weather access, so I am keen to see this project commence as soon as possible,” Ms Boyd said.

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