A SECOND vehicle bridge designed to divert traffic from an increasingly-congested Ipswich CBD could be as little as five years away.
Ipswich City Council and the State Government have started a joint feasibility study on a bridge across the Bremer River linking North and East Ipswich.
In the last council budget, $250,000 was allocated for a study into the river crossing to complement David Trumpy Bridge.
The new bridge would start from the end of Lawrence Street, North Ipswich and link with Norman Street, Basin Pocket then Jacaranda Street, East Ipswich.
“The project brief is currently being prepared with the aim of going out to tender in March to engage the services of the suitably qualified engineering consultancy firm to undertake the study,” Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale said.
Council Works Committee chairman Trevor Nardi said the bridge project was about five years away, a short time in planning terms.
“The biggest issue is you have to do the planning and then you have to go away and seek the money,” Cr Nardi said.
“It will have to be a partnership between the council and the State Government and maybe federal money will be needed because it will be a $55 million project.
“I think everyone would love it to come forward but it’s all about funding. We’ve got money allocated every year in the forward estimates and that should increase every year.
“Eventually this will be part on an inner-city linking transport system.”
Cr Nardi said the bridge project would have a major impact on properties, mainly along Jacaranda Street.
He said the houses on the right hand side of Jacaranda Street near the river would probably have to be resumed.
“There will be an increase in traffic volume but residents should be aware of the reality of it happening,” he said.
“There will always be winners and losers in these situations but you have to look at the social impacts.
“Some have bought in because of the development and some have sold out because of it.
“Jacaranda Street will eventually have to be four lanes and when you get to Booval you will have to have a plan to get traffic on to Brisbane Street. My thinking would be you would need a flyover at Hamilton Street next to Bunnings, which would be another $15 to $20 million.”
On the North Ipswich side, a point of contention would appear to be the bridge approach bisecting Norths rugby league ground.
“With the planned Tivoli sport complex there won’t be a loss of sporting areas,” Cr Nardi said.
“Down Street will eventually have to be four lanes as well.
“There’s no design, there’s no preferred option so we’ve got nothing to show residents.”