However, the existing bridge is rapidly nearing the end of its life. The current two-lane bridge has been in place since the 1960’s and is expected to reach maximum capacity in 2031. In the last five years, there have also been seven closures to the 835 metre-long bridge. For locals and tourists, this makes the island much less accessible, with this decreasing further in future years.
To prevent this situation, the state government is currently undertaking an investigation into the possibility of a new bridge to the island. This business case currently has a $2 million budget, with a final report expected in 12 months.
This study will also involve preliminary work in the area to help further establish the best corridor for the route, according to Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson.
“The next step is to secure the corridor, undertake geotechnical work in the passage and develop a business case based on community feedback,” said Mr Emerson.
This case will also include an estimated cost and timetable for the future works, with these providing the core estimates for the future project.
Currently, the preferred route for a new bridge is alongside the existing one and slightly to the north of the current structure, with a 15 metre gap between the two.
A second bridge will also maintain a connection to the community, in case access across the old bridge is cut for any reason. With housing on Bribie Island expected to increase by 38 per cent over the next 17 years, there will be further demand from both construction workers and future residents.
Once construction begins on the second bridge, there will likely be a range of opportunities for those seeking apprenticeships in Queensland. With the bridge involving significant earthworks as well as nearly a kilometre of over-water road construction, there will be strong demand for a range of skills.
Once completed, the bridge will also unlock greater potential for those working in the area, with increased access for tourists looking to stay on the island. This, coupled with a growing number of construction projects on the island, is likely to provide new levels of employment opportunities.
By Leanne de Toerkenczy, Public Relations Coordinator