Thursday, April 25, 2024

Community feedback to shape vital transport link

Sunshine Coast Council says a wide range of valuable community feedback has been received on the concept design for the Omrah Avenue to Nicklin Way Upgrade, which will now be analysed to inform the project’s next stage.

Division 2 Councillor, Terry Landsberg, thanked the many residents, businesses and community groups which provided feedback on the Caloundra Transport Corridor Upgrade (CTCU) concept design.

“This is a major transport infrastructure upgrade for our Caloundra community which aims to meet the current and future needs of motorists, cyclists, pedestrians and public transport users,” Cr Landsberg said.

“The project will address significant congestion at the nearby intersection of Nicklin Way, Pelican Waters Boulevard and Caloundra Road, providing motorists, cyclists and pedestrians with an alternative access route to everything that Caloundra has to offer.”

He said that from August to November 2021, Council in partnership with the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR), distributed information about the project and held community displays to allow the community to ask questions and provide comment about the 1.6 kilometre upgrade which will connect the CBD and Omrah Avenue to Nicklin Way.

“Council received a wide range of valuable feedback on the concept design.”

“The feedback will directly inform the project’s next stage, detailed design, which will take place in 2022.  

“Some of the commonly asked questions were around Ben Bennett Bushland Park, and I want to assure the community that council is working with TMR to minimise the project’s footprint on the park, wherever possible.

“The concept design of the Nicklin Way intersection and alignment through this area affects only about two per cent of the park and it is likely this will be further reduced when the design is refined through the detailed design process,” Cr Landsberg said.

He said the corridor’s alignment had been determined by specialist consultants following a lengthy and detailed assessment of planning, environmental, social and engineering considerations, supported by numerous transport studies and community engagement processes over the past eight years.

“The project’s design focuses on delivering improved walking and cycling infrastructure adjacent to a low-speed traffic environment (typically 50km/h). Through detailed design, the project team will review the number of lanes required for each section of the project and, if feasible, stage the number of lanes being constructed.”

“The upgrade is the next step to addressing one of the worst traffic snarls on the Sunshine Coast, recognising the flow-on impacts that the congestion causes on local roads in Aroona, Currimundi, Dicky Beach and Moffat Beach which are now becoming congested as drivers seek alternative routes.

“Council, alongside TMR, will continue to investigate the design’s footprint, improve active transport (walking and cycling pathways), and protect flora and fauna during the detailed design process.

“It’s important that we allocate time for the analysis phase as we want to give proper consideration to the responses received,” he said.

Member for Caloundra, Jason Hunt said $7 million in funding had been committed by the Queensland Government for the Nicklin Way-Third Avenue Connection project.

“Once complete, the new connection will provide more direct access to Caloundra and see locals get home sooner and safer,” Mr Hunt said.

“As part of the project, we’ll also be improving bike riding facilities and pathways to encourage active transport in the area, which we know returns a number of health, environmental and economic benefits to Queensland.

“A big thank you to all those who provided feedback on Section 2, and I look forward to seeing the project continue to progress.”

Section 1 between Omrah Avenue and Arthur Street is funded by council and is estimated to cost $19.6 million. Section 2 between Arthur Street and Nicklin Way is part of the $18.2 million upgrade to the Nicklin Way-Third Avenue Connection with the Australian Government committing $7 million under the Infrastructure Investment Program, the Queensland Government $7 million and Council $4.2 million.

For more information about the project and map, please visit Council’s Caloundra Transport Corridor Upgrade webpage.

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