“Clem 7” is the $3billion, 4.8km tunnel that will run from the Gabba and Shafston Ave, under the river to Bowen Hills. If the earth’s moving for you in Fortitude Valley at the moment that’s where the boring machines are up to – and next month they’ll be under Brisbane River on their way to a 2010 ribbon-cutting. You’ll then be able to skip 18 sets of lights with the new motorway linking up 5 roads that today carry a combined 400,000 cars a day.
The first pile was driven this week on the “Hale Street Link” (forgettable, politically-correct name still to be decided…) and this 4 lane toll bridge will also open in 2010. Piles are going 30 metres below the river bed in what will be a vehicle, cycle and shaded pedestrian crossing from South Brisbane to Milton.
Following design changes and community cups of tea, approvals are expected this month for “Airport Link”, another of our great tunnels in planning. A 5.3km rabbit hole this one promises to speed cars from Bowen Hills to the airport roundabout in 6 minutes. Burrowing under Lutwyche Road then east under Clayfield, it’s proposed for a 2012 completion.
Keeping up?! The last of the inner city’s big road projects is the “Northern Link”. Hooking up the Western Freeway at Toowong and the Inner City Bypass at Kelvin Grove this is 5km of tunnel that’ll run north-west of Milton Road under Auchenflower and Paddington. Approvals should happen soonish with an opening around 2014.