Premier & Trade
The Honourable Peter Beattie
State Govt Announces Houghton Highway Bridge Duplication
Premier & Trade
The Honourable Peter Beattie
Wednesday, April 20, 2005
State Govt Announces Houghton Highway Bridge DuplicationThe State Government will build a new bridge to the Redcliffe Peninsula duplicating the Houghton Highway, Premier Peter Beattie, Transport Minister Paul Lucas and the Member for Redcliffe, Ray Hollis, announced today.
Mr Beattie said detailed design would begin this week on the new 2.7 kilometre $149 million bridge, which will join the Houghton Highway as the equal longest bridge over water in Australia.
The new three-lane bridge, to be built between the existing Hornibrook and Houghton Highway bridges, is scheduled for completion by Christmas 2009.
Construction is to start in late 2007. The project will create around 200 jobs.
Mr Beattie today paid tribute to the efforts of the Member for Redcliffe, Ray Hollis, in getting this new bridge built.
"Unfortunately, Ray Hollis is ill and cannot attend the launch of this project, but everyone in the Redcliffe area will know about Ray's tireless work in getting the Houghton Highway duplicated," he said.
Mr Beattie said a consultant's report received earlier this year recommended that, based on traffic figures, a new bridge would be needed in five to 10 years.
"The good news is we are going with the earlier timeline - this bridge will be delivered sooner rather than later," Mr Beattie said.
"The growing area of Redcliffe will get the infrastructure it needs.
"This new bridge will improve safety and reduce traffic congestion.
"This bridge, spanning the sparkling waters of Moreton Bay, will again make the drive to the Redcliffe Peninsula one of most scenic and enjoyable in Australia.
"We have a lot of work to do with this project so I am pleased to see that planning is starting immediately."
Mr Beattie said the new bridge would have a combined pedestrian/cycleway.
"We are also examining converting one lane on both the Houghton Highway and the new bridge to a transit lane or a bus lane to boost public transport," he said.
Mr Lucas said $5 million had been committed for planning and detailed design for the new bridge in Main Roads' 2004-05 Arterial Roads Infrastructure Package.
"Detailed design should be completed in 2006, tenders should be called in early 2007 and the bridge completed by Christmas 2009," he said.
"The new bridge will be similar in construction to the Houghton Highway, with long concrete piles driven into the bedrock below Moreton Bay.
"Like the Houghton Highway, it will have 99 pre-stressed concrete spans between the piles; however, the road surface will be smoother than the Houghton Highway because there will be fewer joints." Mr Lucas has assured local residents they would have ample opportunity to have their say on the new bridge during the public consultation.
Mr Lucas said Main Roads would continue to ensure the Hornibrook Bridge was in a fit condition for pedestrians and cyclists until the new bridge was built.
However, he said Main Roads was then recommending the removal of the old bridge, except for approximately 300 metres on the northern end which would be refurbished using timber salvaged from the rest of the bridge.
"This section of the old bridge can then continue to be used as a local community facility for fishing and other recreational activities," Mr Lucas said.
He said the long term cost of maintaining the Hornibrook Bridge was $8.5 million for the next 10 years and $22 million for the next 30 years just to provide pedestrian and cycle access.
"The Hornibrook Bridge also is built using hardwood which is increasing difficult to obtain for repairs," he said.
"It is a far better economic and public transport solution to spend the $8.5-$22 million to provide cycle and pedestrian access on a new reinforced concrete bridge that will last for hundreds of years.
"Finally, from a safety point of view, it would be necessary to keep the Hornibrook Bridge able to take emergency and rescue vehicles. In contrast, the new bridge would allow very quick access to any injured pedestrians and cyclists in an emergency."
Main Roads will do load testing on the Hornibrook Bridge in the near future to determine the amount of maintenance needed to keep it serviceable until the Houghton Highway is duplicated.
20 April 2005
Media contacts: Premier's Office 3224 4500 Minister's Office 3237 1942