A new alignment, which includes 5.9 kilometres of tunnel beneath the centre of Brisbane, has been unveiled by Queensland’s state government for the long-running Cross River Rail project.
The Palaszczuk Government has also announced the creation of a delivery authority to lead the project and has suggested that more engagement with the private sector could be the key to finally unlocking the funding needed to deliver the project.
This is the latest in a number of revised routes for the Cross River Rail link. The most recent version was a combined road/rail tunnel running north to south beneath the Brisbane River from Victoria Park to Dutton Park.
The new 10.2-kilometre alignment will instead connect Bowen Hills to Dutton Park, including 5.9 kilometres of tunnel beneath the river and CBD and five new stations.
Acting Premier Jackie Trad said: “Cross River Rail is not only a critical infrastructure project but also a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reshape Brisbane through this major city-making initiative.”
She added: “As our government has said publicly many times, major infrastructure projects of this scale require cooperation, support and funding from all three levels of government.
“That’s why we have asked the Federal Government and Brisbane City Council to partner with us, along with private capital, to deliver this vital second rail river crossing that will ensure our city has the rail infrastructure it needs to accommodate future population growth.”
Officials estimate that the Cross River Rail project will create 1,600 jobs a year during its construction.
A business case for the new, updated alignment will be submitted by the middle of this year. The corridor is expected to take five years to construct and will relieve pressure on the Merivale Bridge, currently the only railway river crossing to Brisbane’s CBD. In February, the Queensland Government announced that the bridge was to undergo a major refurbishment.