Tunnel vision to solve nightmare

Published 12:55pm 13 June 2023

Tunnel vision to solve nightmare
Words by Nick Crockford

A “new solution” for north Brisbane’s struggling road network should extend right into Moreton Bay Region, says Mayor Peter Flannery.

The Queensland Government will spend $35 million in a detailed study on the viability of building a 7km toll tunnel between Kedron and Carseldine.

State Treasurer and Trade and Investment Minister Cameron Dick says the Gympie Rd tunnel could be a “new solution for a long-established challenge” in Brisbane's north.

It would link from the Bruce Hwy to Legacy Way, Clem 7, the M1 and Centenary Hwy – but Mayor Flannery says why stop at Carseldine?

“It should be possible for the State Government to walk and talk at the same time on this one," he said.

Tunnel vision to solve nightmare
Map of Brisbane's tunnel network

"Funding for a tunnel investigation is great, but let’s look at our (region's) immediate and existing traffic problems to fix those first,” he said.

“If a tunnel is built between Kedron and Carseldine, I’ll want to see how it will connect to the Bruce Highway and ultimately the Bruce Highway Western Alternative.

“I think the tunnel should extend beyond Carseldine into Moreton Bay given the growth we are witnessing. I will be lobbying the state to include this in the $35 million investment proposal.”

The Mayor said one of the most crippling chokepoints in South-East Queensland’s road network is on the Bruce Highway over North Pine River.

“Adding a second crossing would not only benefit the daily lives of commuters but also improve the efficiency of transport and logistics on the national freight network,” he said.

“TMR could gazette the Western Alternative tomorrow, which is much easier and much more urgent than a tunnel as we need to be ready for the new city of Waraba (Caboolture West) to start development.

Tunnel vision to solve nightmare
The Bruce Highway at North Lakes

“A more immediate priority is fixing congestion on the Bruce Highway at North Lakes."

North Brisbane Infrastructure, a new entity to be set up through Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC), will conduct transport modelling, technical assessments and financial analysis.

“As a world-leader in funds management, the QIC has nearly $30 billion worth of infrastructure assets under management,” Minister Cameron Dick said.

“It has the expertise to give us the clearest answer in the shortest time to decide whether a Gympie Rd toll tunnel stacks up.

“Forecast population growth on the Sunshine Coast and in the Moreton Bay Region will increase traffic into Brisbane, so now is the right time to do this work.

“Based on Brisbane’s most recent road tunnel projects, from this point the tunnel could potentially be built within about eight years if it stacks up.”

Tunnel vision to solve nightmare
Proposed route for the Bruce Highway Western Alternative

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey says a Gympie Rd bypass solution will complement works already happening as part of the Northern Transitway from Kedron to Chermside.

State Member for Pine Rivers Nikki Boyd said "the lack of an efficient corridor to the city and beyond can make the commute unsustainable".

“A new tunnel under Gympie Road would unblock across Brisbane’s north,” she added.

The tunnel is expected to be tolled and this will be considered as part of the study.

Community consultation to allow local residents, businesses and other key stakeholders to have their say will happen later this year.

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