Geotechnical drilling under the Brisbane River has started as part of planning works for the $5 billion Underground Bus and Train project.
Premier Campbell Newman, Acting Transport and Main Roads Minister Lawrence Springborg and Lord Mayor Graham Quirk visited the Sea Lift 7 barge today which started geotechnical drilling investigations.
“The drilling work is one of the first steps in a project that will revolutionise public transport in Brisbane,” Mr Newman said.
“This exciting transport solution will create 18,400 full-time jobs and reinforce this government’s commitment to deliver better infrastructure and better planning.
“The samples will be gathered by drilling at least 13 holes up to 60 metres deep into the river bed.
“The drill is located on a large barge that will move locations over the next few days between Lower River Terrace Park in Kangaroo Point and the City Botanic Gardens.”
Mr Springborg said the underground project would address bus and rail congestion for an affordable price.
“Unlike Labor’s unaffordable options, this project combines rail and bus in a single, double-decked, 15-metre-wide tunnel located about 50 metres below the Brisbane River,” Mr Springborg said.
“The tunnel will be carved from the earth by the largest, hard rock tunnel-boring machine ever used in Australia.
“A land-based drilling program will commence at the end of January at various locations along the proposed alignment to confirm the depth and location of the tunnel and stations.”
Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said the 5.4-kilometre north-south tunnel with new underground stations at Woolloongabba, George Street and Roma Street would provide a critical new link in South East Queensland’s public transport network.
“This project is a great example of different levels of government working together to address the city’s public transport capacity issues,” Cr Quirk said.
“It will double the capacity of the rail and bus networks, take pressure off existing infrastructure and make way for future growth.”
Drilling is expected to be completed by April. The Terms of Reference for the project’s Environmental Impact Statement was released by the Coordinator-General this week signalling the start of a rigorous whole-of-government assessment of the potential impacts of the project.