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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Transport and Main Roads
    The Honourable Paul Lucas

    New Houghton Highway weathers the storm

    Minister for Transport and Main Roads
    The Honourable Paul Lucas

    Wednesday, June 06, 2007

    New Houghton Highway weathers the storm


    The new Houghton Highway Bridge will be the first coastal bridge in Australia made climate-change-proof under design standards developed after Hurricane Katrina devastated the southern United States in 2005.

    Releasing new plans for the bridge today, Transport and Main Roads Minister Paul Lucas said changes made during the design process meant the Houghton Highway bridge would now withstand a one-in-2000 year storm event.

    The changes include locating the bridge 30-40m to the east of the existing Houghton Highway bridge, and raising its height by 4m over that specified in original designs.

    Mr Lucas said all private land for the project had been acquired, with construction on the new bridge set to begin late this year and open by the end of 2009. Work on the existing Houghton Highway, including resurfacing, will be undertaken once the new bridge is complete. All work will be complete by the end of 2010.

    “Hurricane Katrina rewrote the book on designing coastal bridges to withstand waves generated by severe storms,” Mr Lucas said.

    “It also showed shallow bodies of water, like that crossed by the Houghton Highway bridge, are more subject to storm surge than previously thought.

    “Main Roads advises me the new Houghton Highway bridge is the only coastal bridge that could be affected in a Katrina-type event. However, it is asking its design consultants to share relevant information with other infrastructure agencies.”

    Member for Redcliffe Lillian van Litsenburg said it was a twenty-first century bridge for a twenty-first century city.

    “This is a massive investment in Redcliffe’s future,” Ms van Litsenburg said.

    “The new bridge will ensure Redcliffe residents will no longer be held hostage to traffic delays caused by break-downs or crashes on the Houghton Highway.”

    “The existing Houghton Highway bridge met standards of its time, meaning its superstructure would survive a one-in-400 year storm surge.

    “Now with global warming on the horizon, the new bridge has been designed to withstand the onslaught of an extreme one-in-2000 year storm event.”

    Member for Sandgate Vicky Darling said the new bridge would include a 4.5m wide pedestrian and cycle path connecting with existing cycle networks on either side of Bramble Bay, and a fishing platform near the Pine River channel.

    “This is just as much a lifestyle win for locals, with better cycling connections and a dedicated fishing platform on the southern side of the bridge.”

    “Building on the eastern alignment also means the Hornibrook Heritage Park precinct on the northern shore can be kept at its current size, and will have less effect on mangrove areas in the southern park precinct.

    “It will also improve safety for mariners because the new bridge will have navigation clearance along the majority of its length and further away from the existing bridge than previously planned.”

    The new bridge will be 2.7km long and have two general traffic lanes and a transit lane. Mr Lucas said increases in the cost of construction materials and labour; changes to the scope of the project following technical investigations and community consultation; extra costs associated with the removal of the Hornibrook bridge; as well as changes to reflect post-Katrina findings, meant the total project cost would be $315 million, compared with the $149 million estimated in 2004.

    “This bridge was always going to be built – it is too important to the people of Redcliffe and Brisbane not to proceed,” Mr Lucas said.

    “The new cost is higher than initial estimates. However, on its eastern alignment the new bridge will mean less disruption for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists during construction, as well as reduced construction noise for residents on the northern headland.”

    The iconic Hornibrook bridge entry portals on both the northern and southern foreshores will also be maintained to preserve the cultural heritage of the area. Timber from the existing Hornibrook Highway bridge will be re-used to maintain a section of the bridge on the northern Redcliffe side.

    Mr Lucas encouraged locals to take the opportunity to view the preliminary designs on display from later this month.

    Media inquiries
    Minister’s office: Robert Hoge 3237 1942
    Member for Redcliffe: 3284 2667
    Member for Sandgate: 3269 7018

    Public display and consultation

    • The preliminary designs will be on display from Monday 25 June until Friday 20 July 2007, with project staff available at selected displays to answer queries.
    • Kippa Ring Village (284 Anzac Avenue, Kippa Ring)
    • Public Displays: Thursday 12th July (5pm-7pm) & Friday 20th July (11am-2pm)
    • Peninsula Fair Shopping Centre (272 Anzac Avenue, Kippa Ring)
    • Public Displays: Wednesday 27th June (11am-2pm) & Thursday 28th June (5pm-7pm)
    • Hornibrook Bridge – Northern Portal (Bayview Terrace, Clontarf)
    • Public Display: Saturday, 14th July (12pm-2pm)
    • Sandgate Bowls Club (Burnett Place, Sandgate)
    • Public Displays: Wednesday 4th July (9am-11am) & Thursday 5th July (11:30am-1:30pm)

    Permanent Displays

    • Sandgate Library (12 Seymour Street, Sandgate)
    • Public Display Unmanned: Tuesday 3rd July until Friday 20th July
    • Public Display Manned: Tuesday 17th July (10:30am until 11:30am)
    • Redcliffe City Library (470 Oxley Avenue, Redcliffe)
    • Public Display Unmanned: Monday 25th June until Friday 20th July
    • Public Display Manned: Friday 13th July (11am until 12pm)
    • Redcliffe City Council Administration Building (Irene Street, Redcliffe)
    • Public Display Unmanned: Monday 25th June until Friday 20th July
    • Public Display Manned: Friday 29th June (11am until 12pm)