«These bridges will help make Brisbane a more clean, green and active city.
«They will provide more opportunity to get across the river, they will take traffic of the road, and they will provide more time for people to spend with family and friends.»
Labor candidate for mayor Rod Harding questioned how the council could manage the project, criticising delays and cost blowouts to the Kingsford Smith Drive upgrade and council’s concerns about delays to Brisbane Metro.
A pedestrian and cycle bridge at Kangaroo Point to the CBD already has a business case underway.
Two West End bridges, one from Toowong to West End and the other from St Lucia to West End, will be for pedestrians, cyclists and public transport.
A pedestrian and cycle bridge connecting Kingsford Smith Drive Riverwalk into the existing riverwalk network will be constructed at Breakfast Creek.
And a final bridge at Belbowrie to Wacol is tapped as a potential pedestrian, cycling and public transport bridge with emergency access to alleviate flood risk in the area.
Cr Schrinner said the bridges would connect sections of the city that had no links and create a more active, greener city.
«One of the great weaknesses of Brisbane in the past has been a lack of bridges, everything funnels to the few bridges that we have,» he said.
«Our city needs more bridges going forward to help make it easier to get around.»
Overall the five bridges will cost at least $550 million, with the council contributing at least two-thirds of the cost and seeking additional funding from the state and federal governments.
The council will invest funding into the five new bridges in the upcoming June budget.
Peak motoring body the RACQ welcomed the announcement, with spokesman Paul Turner saying it was much needed, but urged the council to include vehicle onto the West End to Toowong bridge.
“We know that western corridor has some of the slowest traffic times in Brisbane and we’d call on Council to help alleviate that pressure,” he said.
“West End faces the prospect of becoming a car park with the closure of Victoria Bridge to drivers and the lack of vehicular access across the river to the west.»
Victoria Bridge, linking the CBD to South Bank, will close to vehicles in the near future as Brisbane Metro goes ahead.
The Kurilpa and the Goodwill green bridges link the city to South Brisbane, while the Eleanor Schonell bridge connects Dutton Park and the University of Queensland.
A third pedestrian and cycling bridge between the city and south Brisbane will be constructed by Star as part of the Queens’ Wharf development.
Greens councillor Jonathan Sri (The Gabba) welcomed the announcement of the new bridges, saying it was pleasing to see the LNP taking on Green policies.
“I warmly welcome this announcement, I feel like they’ve directly copied our policy proposals from previous Green election campaigns, which is exactly what we wanted them to do,” he said.
“I think these sorts of projects have a double benefit … not only do they improve connectivity, they improve traffic congestion.
“Even people who only drive around get an indirect benefit.”
Cr Sri said it was good to see money committed to the June budget but wanted to see greater commitment to a shorter timeframe than the five to 10 years Cr Schrinner indicated.
He expressed some scepticism that the timeline could see the five bridges falling by the wayside in favour of other projects, saying there was no point in waiting.
Lucy is the urban affairs reporter for the Brisbane Times, with a special interest in Brisbane City Council.