A DETAILED socio-economic assessment is set to be carried out on Ipswich's "single biggest infrastructure project", the proposed Norman Street Bridge linking North Ipswich and East Ipswich across the Bremer River.
Ipswich City Council infrastructure boss Cr Cheryl Bromage said now that the planning and community engagement phases of the Norman Street Bridge had been completed, the council would like to secure funding for its design and construction.
Cr Bromage said, given the scale of the project, it was not something the council and ratepayers could fund alone. When the Queensland Times revealed details of the project last July, Cr Bromage estimated stage one would cost $190 million, with $320 million needed for the whole scheme.
"A funding partnership across all three levels of government is essential to see the project come to fruition," she said.
"Council has approached both the federal and state governments and, although both are supportive of the project's need and benefits, the Norman Street Bridge needs to compete for funding against many other worthwhile projects across Australia in a somewhat constrained national fiscal environment. To justify public sector involvement in the bridge project, council will now prepare a business case .
"The first step in this process is to undertake a detailed socio-economic assessment of the project and funds have been allocated in council's 2014-2015 budget for this assessment.
"This assessment will involve identifying the economic and social benefits of the Norman Street Bridge to the future prosperity of the city (in particular the Ipswich City Centre) - against not doing the project.
"Elements such as travel time savings, reduction in traffic congestion and crashes, enhanced access to the emerging northern part of the CBD, access during times of emergency, commercial development opportunities, business confidence and the uplift in property values will be quantified as part of the socio-economic assessment."
Cr Bromage previously said a feasibility study recommended the ultimate long-term route to link Downs St with Brisbane Rd via Lawrence St, Norman St, Jacaranda St, Wattle St and Hamilton St, with new bridges over the Bremer River and the railway line at Booval.
An interim stage one approach was also identified, under which the new bridge could be constructed connecting Downs St and Chermside Rd with Jacaranda St staying a two-lane road.
Stage one would require the Fiveways to be reconfigured and Glebe Rd closed at that intersection.