SIGNALLING issues that have delayed the Moreton Bay Rail Link have been resolved, but commuters will be in for six days of pain before it can finally open.
Transport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said Queensland Rail and the Transport and Main Roads department had determined the system was now reliable and it was safe to take the final step in linking it to the existing rail network.
Preparations are now underway ahead of the closure of the Caboolture line between Zillmere and Caboolture from 9pm on Friday, September 16 until 2am on Friday, September 23.
“To connect this line we will need to close the Caboolture line for six days which will be one of the largest rail line closures to ever take place in Southeast Queensland,” Mr Hinchliffe said.
“We know that this will be a major disruption for commuters who travel between Caboolture and Zillmere on the train line, but it is absolutely critical work to allow us to make this historic rail line a reality for the people of the Moreton Bay region.”
Mr Hinchliffe said more than 200 buses would be used to transport affected commuters and he encouraged people to work from home, where possible.
He said there would be widespread advertising, signage, online notices, on-board and station announcements and staff on the ground to inform commuters.
“Extra station staff will be available at stations and bus connections to assist passengers and temporary timetables will be available for the closure,” Mr Hinchliffe said.
“We have taken measures to limit the inconvenience for customers however we ask that regular Caboolture line customers take note of this substantial closure and have alternative options in place where possible.
Moreton Bay Regional Council Mayor Allan Sutherland said news the rail line was inching closer to opening was welcome.
“I’d like to thank residents for their perseverance because it’s been very frustrating for people to see a $1 billion piece of infrastructure sitting unused,” he said.
Cr Sutherland said it would be worth the wait and something for whole community to celebrate.
He said the 5-6 day shutdown was always going to have to happen and was not the result of the signalling issue.
“That’s just the medicine we have to take. We can’t avoid that,” he said.
“We’re going to have to work together as a community.”
He hoped the line would open “shortly after” the shutdown, but said he had not yet been given a date.
Alternate bus services will be available between Zillmere and Caboolture, for passengers during the closure with bus interchanges at Elimbah, Caboolture and Boondall stations.
During peak period buses will be ‘turn up and go’ with express buses available from each station to Boondall station and buses stopping at all stations for intermediate travel.
During off-peak buses will run at 15-minute frequencies with buses running express and stopping at all stations.
Additional train services will also operate on the Shorncliffe line.
Original article published at www.couriermail.com.au by Kylie Knight 10/8/16
Queensland’s $46 Billion Infrastructure Boom
The Palaszczuk Government has released an update to its 2018 State Infrastructure Plan as it aims to roll-out a total of $45.8 billion worth of infrastructure over the next four years.
The second part of its State Infrastructure Plan (SIP) focuses on a range of infrastructure spending with its updated release, outlining the $11.6 billion of infrastructure investment to be rolled out in 2018-19, which aims to support up to 38,000 jobs.
Economic forecaster Deloitte Access Economics said that the outlook for engineering construction in Queensland is better than it has been for some time.
“Rather than wallowing in cash from a strong property market and asset privatisations as NSW and Victoria are, the Government is relying more heavily on raising new tax revenue and increasing debt to fund this infrastructure,” Deloitte’s quarterly Business Outlook report said.
Up to 65 per cent of the Queensland’s infrastructure budget is allocated outside of the greater Brisbane area, explained Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick.
“Programs like the Queensland Transport Roads and Investment Program 2018-19 to 2021-22 outlines $21.7 billion in transport and road infrastructure over the next four years, estimated to support an average of 19,200 direct jobs over the life of the program.
The $5.4 billion Cross River Rail project, the biggest state funded infrastructure commitment in more than a decade, will be delivered in partnership with the private sector, explains Dick.
Infrastructure Association of Queensland chief executive Steve Abson said the infrastructure investment strategies update provides the private sector with confidence to invest in their Queensland operations.
With it now required to be “actioned collaboratively by all levels of government and the private sector”.
Seven new projects have been added to the Building Queensland (BQ) infrastructure pipeline, including upgrades to the centenary motorway and Sunshine Motorway, and a third track to be added to the Gold Coast rail line between Kuraby and Beenleigh.
BQ Infrastructure Pipeline Report which presents priority infrastructure proposals under development by the Queensland government, shows 18 proposals from the pipeline has received funding commitments from state government since June 2016.
These include upgrades to the M1 from Eight Mile Plains to Daisy Hill, and Varsity Lakes to Tugan, the Beerburrum to Nambour Rail Upgrade, the Lower Fitzroy River Infrastructure Project and the New Performing Arts Venue.
A rise in interstate migration is seeing more people moving to Queensland, according to the Deloitte’s Business Outlook report, which says the sunshine state now has the third-fastest rate of population growth behind Victoria and the ACT.
The report said that Queensland is “well and truly” through the worst of its mining construction downturn as eye-watering house prices south of the border are sending more “economic refugees north to Queensland”.
Budget delivers more record road spending for the Sunshine Coast and Moreton Bay areas
The Palaszczuk Government will deliver $509.7 million in 2018-19 for the North Coast district as part of another record investment in road and transport infrastructure for the third year in a row.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the district was one of the many beneficiaries of the blockbuster roads budget being delivered under the Queensland Transport and Roads Investment Program (QTRIP).
“Funding for the Sunshine Coast and Moreton Bay area is part of the Queensland Government’s record spend on road and transport infrastructure across the state for the third year running, with an investment of about $21.7 billion over the next four years,” Mr Bailey said.
“This will include $2.917 billion of works planned just for this area alone, over the next four years, supporting an average of 2689 direct jobs.
“Continuing works on the Bruce Highway and other key links around the Sunshine Coast and Moreton Bay are the main focus.
“We’re also looking to get cars off the Bruce, and Sunshine Coast commuters will benefit from $160.8 million Queensland Government funding for the Beerburrum to Nambour rail upgrade, which will support an average of 312 jobs per year over the life of the project, with design work getting underway in 18-19.
Mr Bailey said major projects for the North Coast district in 2018-19 included:
– Bruce Highway Upgrade Project, continue widening of the highway from four to six lanes between Caloundra Road to Sunshine Motorway and upgrading the interchanges for a total cost of $812.9 million (2018-19 $200 million)
– Bruce Highway, continue installing safety barriers along the highway between Beerburrum and Cooroy for a total cost of $79.8 million (2018-19 $42.5 million)
– Burpengary Caboolture Road (locally known as Morayfield Road) and Beerburrum Road Route Safety project, start work on safety treatments along these sections between the Bruce Highway and D’Aguilar Highway overpass for a total cost of $28.8 million (2018-19 $8 million)
– Continue upgrades to improve access to the Sunshine Coast University Hospital for a total cost of $22 million (2018-19 $4.8 million) with works starting on a third package to improve capacity at Nicklin Way between Main Drive and Waterview Street and provide access from Production Avenue to Kawana Way
– Caboolture Connection Road Route Safety Strategy, continue safety improvements along various locations on Caboolture Connection Road between the Bruce Highway and D’Aguilar Highway for a total cost of $7.6 million (2018-19 $3.7 million)
“We are also providing $3.7 million in 2018-19 through the 50:50 Transport Infrastructure Development Scheme (TIDS) to support councils to develop the local transport infrastructure they need,” he said.
Mr Bailey said this budget showed the Palaszczuk Government’s ongoing commitment to delivering key infrastructure and creating jobs for the people of Queensland.
“The Palaszczuk Government’s investment in roads, rail, marine, passenger transport and active transport infrastructure is estimated to support about 19,200 direct jobs, on average, over the life of the four-year program,” he said.
‘Bottleneck’ roundabout near new university site to get $30 million upgrade
The Petrie roundabout connecting Gympie Road, Dayboro Road and Anzac Avenue.
Photo: Google Maps
A “bottleneck” roundabout in the Moreton Bay region that has left motorists “fed up for many, many years” will be given a $30 million upgrade having been allocated funding in the upcoming state budget.
Fairfax Media can reveal the state government will announce on Monday the Petrie roundabout will be replaced by a reconfigured T-intersection featuring traffic lights, with work set to begin in 2020.
However, the Opposition Leader said the roundabout upgrades needed to be finished by 2020 because the new University of Sunshine Coast campus will open at the start of that year.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said an extra $22.5 million will be set aside in the state budget, set to be delivered on June 12, in addition to $7.5 million already committed.
Mr Bailey said the installation of traffic lights would improve traffic movements at the intersection and address local population growth.
“We are fixing the bottleneck at the Petrie roundabout where Anzac Avenue, Dayboro Road and Gympie Road meet,” Mr Bailey said.
“A preferred option was developed in 2016, which included replacing the roundabout with signals at a reconfigured T-intersection.”
However, LNP leader Deb Frecklington said the Palaszczuk government had missed the boat.
“The Palaszczuk government is trying to con the people of Pine Rivers by announcing projects they have no intention of building for years.
“This key road needs to be upgraded in time for the new university campus opening in 2020, but that won’t happen under Annastacia Palaszczuk.
“It’s not good enough that Pine Rivers locals have to wait another two years for work to even begin … Labor’s had almost three years to plan for this upgrade and they’ve done nothing.
“If Labor is serious about busting congestion and planning for the future, this upgrade needs to be fast-tracked in the upcoming budget.”
Member for Kurwongbah Shane King said locals would be able to have their say on the project.
“The community will have an opportunity to provide input during the detailed design phase, which is expected to be completed in 2019,” Mr King said.
“Importantly, this project will improve safety and connectivity in Petrie and reduce delays during peak periods. It will also reduce traffic queues and crash risk.”
RACQ transport, traffic and safety engineer Greg Miszkowycz welcomed the announcement and said drivers had nominated the Petrie roundabout on previous red-spot surveys, which were designed to identify stretches of road which needed to be prioritised for improvement work.
“This location has a history of congestion,” he said.
“Motorists have been fed up of the roundabout for many, many years.
“T-intersections are usually much safer for pedestrians and cyclists compared to roundabouts.
“This will hopefully go a long way to reducing the congestion and frustration for motorists.
“The new university campus will attract a greater number of vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists so these upgrades should ensure all road users can safely and efficiently access these new facilities.”
Mr King said the upgrade would ultimately benefit the thousands of students expected to attend the new University of the Sunshine Coast campus.
“The former Petrie paper mill site and surrounding suburbs have been declared a priority development area by the Palaszczuk government,” he said.
“(This) is expected to deliver up to 10,000 university student placements, 6000 ongoing jobs and $950 million in economic benefit.”
Mr Bailey said further investigations into land requirements and consultation with key stakeholders, Moreton Bay Regional Council as well as directly affected residents and businesses would continue.
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