$335-M Earmarked for Gympie Road Bypass Tunnel, Surface Upgrades

Gympie Road Bypass
Gympie Road (Photo credit: Google Street View)

A significant $335 million has been allocated over the next three years for the development of the proposed Gympie Road bypass tunnel and surface transformation. The centrepiece of this initiative is a proposed 7-km, two-lane tolled tunnel between Kedron and Carseldine.

Read: $35 Million Allocated to Check Viability of Toll Tunnel from Kedron to Carseldine

Financial Commitment

A substantial $318 million has been earmarked for Queensland Investment Corporation, operating through North Brisbane Infrastructure, to advance pre-construction activities. This includes geotechnical investigations and preliminary design work.

Local Resources
Photo credit: Google Street View

Additionally, $17 million over two years is dedicated to the Department of Transport and Main Roads to prepare a comprehensive business case for the Gympie Road Surface Corridor Transformation Project.

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Proposed Tunnel Solution

Map of proposed bypass tunnel (Photo credit: North Brisbane Infrastructure)

The centrepiece of this initiative is a proposed 7-km, two-lane tolled tunnel between Kedron and Carseldine. This tunnel is projected to deliver significant benefits:

  • Time Savings: Commuters could save up to 32 minutes on a return journey during peak hours.
  • Safety and Connectivity: Enhanced safety and reduced pressure on suburban roads, alongside improved connectivity to the Gympie Arterial Road, benefiting motorists from Kedron to the Sunshine Coast.
  • Economic Impact: A projected Gross Regional Product boost exceeding $8 billion and the creation of approximately 1,800 direct and indirect jobs during construction.
  • Traffic Reduction: An estimated 40,000 vehicles per day are expected to use the tunnel, which will remain a free alternative for motorists and improve surface travel times.

The investment proposal highlights a critical need for the project, with forecasts indicating that without intervention, almost all main roads through North Brisbane will exceed capacity during peak periods by 2046. 

Gympie Road, serving both local and through traffic, experiences severe congestion and forces ‘rat runs’ on adjacent roads. The proposed tolled bypass tunnel is anticipated to offer substantial travel time benefits and alleviate pressure on the local road network.

Community Support and Consultation

Between October and December 2023, the concept of the Gympie Road bypass tunnel was presented to the community. Feedback was overwhelmingly positive:

  • Support Levels: 78 percent of respondents supported the bypass tunnel concept unprompted, rising to 83 percent when informed of potential project benefits.
  • Traffic Concerns: 94 percent of survey participants acknowledged current traffic congestion as a serious problem, and 60 percent expressed willingness to use the proposed tunnel.
  • Dissenting Views: Among those who did not support the project, the primary concerns were a preference for investment in public and active transport and an aversion to paying tolls.

Next Steps

NBI has already undertaken extensive geotechnical investigations along the Gympie Road corridor, with findings informing the investment proposal submitted for consideration.

Read: Brisbane Commuters Face Soaring Toll Costs as AirportlinkM7 Fees Increase

The project’s advancement will involve detailed planning, community engagement, and environmental assessments to ensure a balanced and effective solution to North Brisbane’s traffic challenges.

Published 16-June-2024