Highway hope for battling residents

Published 4:00pm 20 May 2024

Highway hope for battling residents
Words by Nick Crockford

Work has started on possible new routes for Stage 4 of the Bruce Highway Western Alternative (BHWA) after a huge community backlash to original plans.

A planning update from Transport and Main Roads (TMR) says it has “commenced initial investigations” into "corridor routes further west”.

It follows a campaign by residents who were shocked last year when TMR put forward two routes through Elimbah affecting more than 140 homes and farms.

Expectations were the northern section of the BHWA would be built west of Elimbah, in less populated areas and using more government-owned land.

In 10 weeks, the Halt Stage 4 campaign had 6235 petition signatures and 4566 on an e-petition. Both were tabled in parliament by State Member for Glass House Andrew Powell.

The northern section of the proposed route for Stage 4 of the BHWA

More than 850 submissions were also received by TMR after residents successfully lobbied for an extended feedback period.

“Early insights highlight significant community interest in alternative corridor routes for Stage 4,” the TMR planning update says.

“This includes suggestions for a route further west of the two routes presented for community consultation to reduce residential property impacts and community disturbance.

“Early insights also highlight community interest in utilising more government-owned land, following existing power easements and roads, multi-modal transport options, environmental and lifestyle considerations, and integration with the broader planned growth in the area. “

Planners are looking into the “viability” of routes between Steve Irwin Way at Beerburrum and the D’Aguilar Highway at Moodlu.

The Bruce Highway Western Alternative will, when complete, be 50kms long.

TMR says this will take “additional time” and “any viable alternate corridor routes identified need to be considered alongside the two corridor options previously presented to the community”.

A summary of consultation outcomes will be shared with the community by TMR with revised project timelines, the next steps further feedback as the project progresses.

Early planning for Stages 1 and 2 is complete, and 22 kilometres of the corridor from Moodlu to Narangba is protected for the future Moreton Motorway.

Planning for Stage 3 between Narangba and Bald Hills is ongoing. Early feedback on the study area for Stage 3 is invited via the Have Your Say webpage.

The BHWA is a long-term plan to meet population growth in the northern part of Moreton Bay and support the Bruce Highway between Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast.

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