Bribie Island gets one step closer to a four lane bridge
WHEN do you want your new bridge?
A Department of Transport and Main Roads concept plan is recommending a new four-lane bridge with a wide footpath be constructed 15m north of the existing structure - at an estimated cost close to $150 million.
There's no timeframe for construction yet but Member for Pumicestone Lisa France is hoping to secure funding next week to put towards resuming property for the project in the next budget.
"It's absolutely excellent that we've finally got a concept study done on the duplication of the bridge.
"The community has been calling for that for a long time," she said.
"We would expect it to be up to the $150 million mark but this would obviously depend on the final design that incorporates features that are important to our community and then the competitive tendering process.
"I'm confident in saying we're definitely going to get it but I don't want to make a commitment that's going to take 25 years to deliver on."
Mrs France said she was looking for community feedback on a range of issues; she wants to hear from people on everything from how urgently the bridge is needed to how high the bridge should be and whether fishing platforms should be included.
The $205,000 DTMR report says the existing bridge could be used for pedestrians and cyclists but that too, is open to feedback.
Most importantly, Mrs France wants feedback on when the new bridge is needed.
"Is this so urgent that you want me to fight for $150 million straight up, or do you want me to fight for it in increments where we can still fight for other pieces of infrastructure as well," she said.
In recent years the argument against duplicating the bridge has always hinged on predictions the current structure wouldn't approach its traffic capacity until 2031. Mrs France said guaranteed access to the island was the real issue.
Bribie Island Bicycle User Group past president and founder Peter Crawford was heavily involved with pushing for a new bridge or changes to the existing bridge under the old Labor Government and has spoken to Mrs France several times about the issue.
He welcomed the recommendation and said the bridge was needed "about 10 years ago".
"It's good news," he said.
"But we'd rather see it sooner rather than later and I just feel myself that it's going to be harder to get $150 million.
"Our main concern is safety of cyclists, mobility scooters, children and pedestrians on the bridge.
"That's needed urgently, not way in the future."
The report recommends a 4m-wide pedestrian and cycle path for the new bridge.
Mrs France said she was looking to access the proceeds of the State Government's planned asset sales to pay for the bridge.
"I'm definitely not saying it couldn't be done without asset sales," she said.
"We'd just be waiting the full 25 years (until the bridge reaches its design life in 2038).
Moreton Bay region Division One councillor Gary Parsons said there had been a number of accidents on the bridge and duplication was needed as soon as it could be paid for.
"That's a step forward and the recommendation of a four-lane bridge, that's fantastic," he said.
"It will give security and safety to all concerned".
Bribie Island Bridge duplication:
Estimated cost: $150 million
Road: Four lanes
Footpath width: 4m
Feedback: pumicestone@ parliament.qld.gov.au or 3408 6436