The Brisbane City Council have proposed building a second ‘green bridge’ across the river next to the existing Victoria Bridge in a bid to ease bus congestion which now experiences chronic traffic congestion. Buses now sit gridlocked on the Victoria Bridge every morning and afternoon peak hour.
The proposal includes a new tunnel under Adelaide street to move buses from surface roads and put them underground. There will be a $2 million feasibility study into the project which is estimated to cost around $2 to $3 billion dollars.
The idea of a bridge and tunnel is not new. The idea is a rehashed expensive version of the bridge that was originally published in the 2005 Brisbane City Plan which proposed a Light Rail bridge running next to the Victoria Bridge. The original design did not include a tunnel under the CBD which would be the most expensive element of the $2-3 billion dollars. Today the BCC unanimously supported a $2 million feasibility study into the project which could cut 13 sets of traffic lights from a cross-city bus journey.
Lord Mayor Graham Quirk says “this is not something that the council can fund in its entirety, absoloutely not”. This, despite the council funding the large majority of the $1.5 billion dollar Legacy Way car tunnel in the Western Suburbs.
The hugely expensive price tag may also warrant investigations into converting the high frequency City Glider service into a light rail spline, should a new bridge and tunnel be approved. Light rail, which can hold up to six times the passengers that buses can would ultimately future proof the high growth areas of West End and the Fortitude Valley from capacity issues in the future.
If built, this would be the first public transport project of it’s kind funded wholly by the Brisbane City Council.