Our $24m bridge to nowhere
IT cost $24 million to build but a bridge across the new Ipswich Motorway leads to nothing more than a patch of grass.
Bizarrely, among the 500,000 tonnes of asphalt that was trucked in to build the Dinmore to Goodna section of the Ipswich Motorway, none was found to complete an important link between the highway and Brisbane Terrace.
The bridge that crosses the railway line between Redbank and Goodna stations, linking the motorway service road to Brisbane Tce, is complete all but for a short, 30m section on the Brisbane Tce side, which will be funded by the developer of a new industrial estate at Redbank.
The unfinished section of road - known as the Monash Rd upgrade - has been heavily landscaped with gardens and a large amount of drainage rock, leaving some people wondering if it will ever be finished.
It comes as a disappointment to interstate transport company owner Allan Pollard, who said he moved to Redbank last November to take advantage of the new infrastructure.
The bridge will form a safe link to the motorway - unlike the existing overpass further south, which he said was dangerous for heavy vehicles.
"We have been hanging out for this new bridge to open," Mr Pollard said. "I just can't believe that they spent so much money on the turf and gardens when they could have built the road instead."
Minister for Transport and Main Roads Scott Emerson joined Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale in voicing his concerns about the amount of money wasted on gardens and other landscaping that will only be ripped up once work on finishing the connection to Monash Rd gets under way.
"This was done under the former Labor government and I have asked the department to ensure this kind of financial mismanagement is not repeated," Mr Emerson said.
Ipswich City Council confirmed this week that completion of the final section of the bridge hinged on the developer being able to complete contract arrangements.
A spokesman for the developer, Goodman Australia, said there was at least 12 months work in building the intersection where the bridge would connect with Brisbane Terrace.
The Monash Rd upgrade will include the installation of traffic lights at the intersection of Brisbane Tce and Monash Rd at the developer's expense.
Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale said the link would complement the new industrial estate planned for the area.
"It's our bridge to nowhere at the moment," Cr Pisasale said.
"The big issue we have is with the landscaping that has gone in there - they could have given us the money they spent on landscaping and we could have finished the road."