RESIDENTS FIRST: Division 5 candidate Anne Webber wants more action and less words regarding the Norman St Bridge.
RESIDENTS FIRST: Division 5 candidate Anne Webber wants more action and less words regarding the Norman St Bridge. David Nielsen

Webber slams uncertainty created by Norman St Bridge

DIVISION 5 candidate Anne Webber is in favour of a second major crossing being built over the Bremer River.

But she is adamant that the lack of a definitive funding plan from government for the Norman St Bridge project is causing uncertainty for both businesses and residents.

Ms Webber said she moved to Ipswich in 2002 and the project was being spoken of then and it was time for Ipswich City Council to either "put up or shut up" about its plans.

She conceded residents wanted a solution to the "increasing traffic congestion at the Warrego Highway interchange right into Pine Street during morning and evening peak time".

"With the amount of growth and development we've had we need another access from one side of the river to the other," she said.

"The thing that is really frustrating is that they (council) have made grand announcements that have affected people financially because they have been told their properties are going to be resumed.

"It is very difficult to sell something that is already going to be resumed."

Ms Webber owns the building which houses a newsagency at the Five Ways, which will be demolished if the bridge goes ahead. She said the lack of certainty surrounding the project was impacting many.

"Either it gets done and they fight for the funding or they don't," she said.

"There is angst out there and uncertainty. People want an answer.

"If it is not happening then say so. Then people can sell their properties."

A council spokesperson said the Norman Street Bridge and Jacaranda Street extension feasibility study was on public display at key Ipswich locations during July and August 2013.

"During the engagement period Council met with residents, business operators and other key stakeholders to highlight plans for the project," the spokesman said.

"More than 300 people visited the staffed display sessions held at Booval Fair and Riverlink shopping centres in early August. The majority of feedback received was supportive of the project."

The project is one of the South-East Queensland Council of Mayors infrastructure priorities for the region with the organisation's federal advocacy document stating it will "improve access and productivity by removing non-essential through-traffic, and will also ensure key additional access during emergencies and natural disasters.

A council spokesperson said Stage 1 costing was approximately $180 million for a four-lane bridge.

"This includes road approaches, improvements to the Five Ways intersection, enhancements to Cribb Park, additional traffic signals," the spokesperson said.

"To date council has allocated $800,000 for the planning study and public consultation phase."



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