Ipswich City Council is set to provide a lift as part of the final Brassall Bikeway Stage 6 project, facilitating a connection that can be delivered in the short term and in a financially responsible manner.
The Growth, Infrastructure and Waste Committee was recommended the lift option “as the preferred way forward to progress the project and be used to inform future planning, detailed design and construction activities”.
Council had considered a lift, ramp or further staged solution to complete the critical missing link in the Brassall Bikeway network and connect the future bikeway from the riverbank level to the Bradfield Bridge.
A ramp was estimated to cost between $8-14 million depending on the ramp design, while a lift was in the order of $3.5 million. The staged solution would look to build only a portion of the link and defer any decision regarding a lift or ramp connection to the Bradfield Bridge to a later date.
Mayor Teresa Harding said Stage 6 was designed to provide value both the cycling community and ratepayers.
“We have received significant feedback, with residents describing the link as a crucial part of the overall bikeway and the number one path,” Mayor Harding said.
“The lift was chosen to provide increased connectivity on the network within the optimum cost and delivery timeframe.”
A report to committee said the Brassall Bikeway is a high quality path for use by pedestrians and cyclists. When fully complete, the Brassall Bikeway will link the Ipswich City Centre with the suburbs of North Ipswich, Brassall, Wulkuraka, Karrabin and Pine Mountain and to the 161km Brisbane Valley Rail Trail.
The Brassall Bikeway is also part of the Queensland Government’s South East Queensland Principal Cycle Network Plan and identified within council’s iGO Active Transport Action Plan (ATAP) as a principal cycle route (commuter bikeway).
Image: Council is set to provide a lift as part of the final Brassall Bikeway Stage 6 project.
The Brassall Bikeway has been split into seven stages. Stages 1-5 and 7 have already been completed. Completion of these stages has been possible through a joint funding partnership with the Queensland Government’s Cycle Network Local Government Grants Program.
In June 2017, council approved the Brassall Bikeway Stage 6 Corridor Planning Study which investigated the bikeway alignment options between the existing stages of the bikeway at W M Hughes Street and the Ipswich CBD, which included the potential use of the Queensland Rail corridor.
The identified preferred alignment for the bikeway followed the Bremer River (keeping to the top of bank through 48 W M Hughes Street) and then used a ramp structure to connect from the riverbank level back to the Bradfield Bridge, which provides access across the Bremer River to the Ipswich CBD.
This alignment, while being the most costly and slightly less direct in the initial assessment, had significant benefits in terms of safety, reduced conflict points, reduced private property impacts and increased path user comfort, and was most likely to attract 50-50 state government funding as no rider dismount was required.
Subsequent further investigations by council into possible ramp designs identified the significant cost and potential flooding impacts of a ramp structure in this location.
Whereas a large ‘Ikea style’ lift provided a disability compliant connection and was more affordable even if there was no 50-50 state government funding.
Deputy Mayor and Division 3 Councillor Marnie Doyle said the last community consultation held on the project was in 2016 and it would be valid to consider current public feedback, in addition to bicycle user groups such as Bicycle Queensland, as part of the project’s future detailed design.