IPSWICH City Council and the State Government have started a feasibility study into a second vehicle bridge to divert traffic from the Ipswich CBD.
The bridge across the Bremer River linking North and East Ipswich would start from the end of Lawrence Street, North Ipswich and link with Norman Street, Basin Pocket then Jacaranda Street, East Ipswich.
City works committee chairman Trevor Nardi said he expected the feasibility study in conjunction with the Department of Transport and Main Roads would be finished by the end of the year.
It is expected to identify options for the bridge’s location, connections either side of the river and how the road will link to Brisbane Road around Booval.
Cr Nardi said the need for the bridge was highlighted most recently in January when the CBD was isolated by floodwater.
But before that, the influx of traffic from Riverlink doubled the number of vehicles on the existing David Trumpy Bridge.
Traffic congestion caused by the sink-hole in March 2009 also sped up the need for another bridge crossing over the Bremer.
Last week, Cr Nardi said the flooding could ironically put the bridge on the backburner because money was needed for reconstruction.
However, $250,000 was allocated in the last council budget for a study into the river crossing to complement David Trumpy Bridge.
“There is definitely a need for a second bridge but it’s a matter of getting down to who is going to fund it,” Cr Nardi said.
“It is an expensive project, about $50 million, and obviously the council can’t afford that.
“Given the expense of the flood clean-up, dollars may be hard to find in the short term.
“We are planning for it but it could be delayed because of the flood reconstruction work.
“It will definitely happen. It’s just a matter of when.
“The flooding showed the need for another bridge because you couldn’t come into the CBD.”
He said the bridge was in its early planning stages so it was too early to tell people their properties would be resumed.
“Eventually there could be some properties resumed but it’s too premature to say council is going to buy properties because we don’t know where it’s going to go,” he said.