Moreton Bay Regional Council Mayor, Peter Flannery, has launched a campaign to save the old Bribie Island Bridge, by turning it into the region’s first ‘Green Bridge’.
The Department of Transport and Main Roads is currently asking for public input on the construction of a new Bribie Island Bridge, with consultation open until February 27.
Mayor Flannery said the critical need for a new bridge is abundantly clear and urged locals to get online and tell the government to get on with building a new crossing for vehicles and turn the current bridge into a dedicated pedestrian space.
“This means we get the best of both worlds; a brand new four-lane bridge to service Bribie’s booming popularity and refurbish the existing bridge as a new icon for the region where people can enjoy fishing, the gardens, and a beautiful view across the Pumicestone Passage,” he said.
“Bribie Island actually welcomes 827,000 visitors every year, which is the highest visitation for any statistical area in Moreton Bay region according to Tourism Research Australia.
“If we’re ambitious I believe the old Bribie Bridge can become an icon in contemporary landscape architecture, but first we need to save it from demolition.
“I would love to see the old bridge remain as a foot and cycle bridge as an amenity to locals and visitors for recreation like fishing, or it could be greened with plants to resemble something like New York’s High Line.
“Personally I think it would be terribly wasteful to tear-down an expensive piece of infrastructure rather than giving it an exciting second lease on life – just imagine what Sydney and the Gold Coast could have done with their old tram lines if they’d thought outside the box!
“We must put our best foot forward when South East Queensland hosts the world for the 2032 Olympic & Paralympic Games, so we desperately need to have a second bridge in place before then.”
Councillor Brooke Savige (Div 1) said when the Bribie Island Bridge was first built in 1963, the Island was home to roughly 600 residents, and it was a far cry from the community and destination that it’s become today.
“Today the Island is home to 20,612 residents who regularly commute to work and to other services across the bridge, and they all know just how painful it can be when an accident shuts down the bridge, sometimes for hours at a time,” she said.
“This is not only a major inconvenience for locals but it’s a serious safety issue.
“The largest cohort of residents on the Island are aged between 70-74 and more than half of the population is above the age of 60, which sees the Queensland Ambulance Service averaging 17 responses to the island every day.”
Sandstone Point Hotel Owner, Rob Comiskey said a dedicated pedestrian bridge and green link from the mainland to the island would be an invaluable investment.
“Tourists who know Bribie’s beauty come back time and time again but we definitely need something like this to put us on the map ahead of the Olympics and Paralympics,” he said.
“We cannot allow those tourism dollars to go driving past Moreton Bay to the Sunny Coast.
“Sandstone Point has gone from strength-to-strength since opening, but there is a clear need for a better link between here and the island. The current bridge is just too small and too unsafe, it’s passed its use-by date.”
President of the Sandstone Point Community Association, John Gollan said it made sense for a pedestrian bridge to be separate to the new bridge.
“Otherwise they’ll need to construct a great big 6-lane bridge to keep pedestrians safe from vehicles, which is probably just too expensive and impractical,” Mr Gollan said.
“We agree that the State Government should build a new four-lane bridge for traffic, and convert the existing bridge into a pedestrian connection with gardens, trees, and seating for our community to enjoy.
Have your say on the Sate Government’s plan by visiting the Department of Transport and Main Roads website.