The Department of State Development Infrastructure and Planning has announced that tunnelling work has begun on Queensland’s largest infrastructure project — Brisbane’s Cross River Rail.
Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk said the first road header was tunnelling at the project’s Roma Street site, where a large station cavern was also being excavated as part of the new underground line.
“Above-ground demolition has also been under way for several months at the site of the new station, but this is a huge milestone for this project as we start tunnelling for the first time,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“Cross River Rail will create more than 7,000 local jobs, and this is just the beginning of the underground works, with 5.9 kilometres of twin tunnels and four underground stations to be excavated in total.”
She said the project would mean more jobs and more economic stability at a crucial time for Queensland.
Treasurer and Minister for Planning and Infrastructure, Cameron Dick said construction was one of a number of traditional industries that had helped insulate Queensland from even greater impacts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“So many Queensland families and businesses have been hit hard by something they could not have imagined just a few months ago,” Mr Dick said.
“However, some of Queensland’s traditional strengths, like mining, agriculture and construction, have weathered the storm better than other areas.”
“As our economy reopens, we will be supporting jobs in these sectors, as well as jobs in new and emerging industries.”
Minister for State Development, Kate Jones said the road header at Roma Street had been assembled at the bottom of an 18-metre-deep shaft and would excavate approximately 50 tonnes of rock and soil per hour.
“The tunnelling site is covered by an enormous acoustic shed designed to minimise noise and contain dust, while demolition of the Hotel Jen building immediately adjacent is also progressing with floors being removed at a rate of one per week,” Ms Jones said.
“Demolition will then move on to one of Brisbane’s least-loved buildings, the Brisbane Transit Centre.”
Meanwhile a $2.1 billion congestion-busting road plan for Moreton Bay and North Brisbane commuters has also been announced.
The project involves a new arterial road, informally dubbed the ‘Moreton Connector’, to be built between Dohles Rocks Road at Murrumba Downs and Anzac Avenue at Mango Hill.
It will also deliver upgrades to the Gateway Motorway, Gympie Road and the Bruce Highway, including new north-facing ramps at Dohles Rocks Road.