Buchanan Road: The $200 million election question

Published 05 May 2022

Buchanan Road Morayfield

Roads are the elephant in the room this election, with 50% of Moreton Bay locals saying congestion is their top concern in the face of massive population growth.

Mayor Peter Flannery said he was disappointed calls for a $100 million contribution towards the critically important Buchanan Road overhaul in Morayfield have so far gone unanswered by both major parties.

The Mayor is urging undecided voters to look to the candidates who they believe will deliver critical road upgrades that will improve efficiency and take pressure off the Bruce Highway.

“Our roads are already struggling with bottlenecks caused by the current population, so our network simply won’t cope under the population boom unless there’s some critical and major investments now,” Mayor Flannery said.

“The Buchanan Road corridor currently carries 19,500 vehicles a day but one prang creates immediate gridlock on the Bruce Highway and Morayfield Road.

“We have a plan that will enable it to carry 32,000 vehicles per day by 2036, but our calls for funding are so far falling on deaf ears.

“This upgrade is essential before Caboolture West is developed, and tens of thousands more vehicles flood this particular area.

“Our proposal is a four-phase program to not only four-lane Buchanan Road but also connect it all the way from the Bruce Highway through to Morayfield Road, and construct a new bridge over the Caboolture Rail Line at Sheep Station Creek in Morayfield.

“This railway overpass is critical, as it means locals will no longer get stuck waiting for trains.

“Further, the project will significantly reduce flood impacts in an area that’s been closed for an average of almost three days every year between 2013 and 2021.

“These works are estimated to cost nearly $200 million, but it’s worth it to create a high quality road link to the Bruce Highway that will benefit current Morayfield and Caboolture residents as well as provide for the future community in Caboolture West.”

Cr Adam Hain (Div 3) said after 15 years of talk, it was time for action.

“I am in 100% agreement with the community that not enough is being done on roads, but Council can’t make our plans a reality without money from the wealthier levels of government,” Cr Hain said.

“Frankly all levels of government need to stand up and help us deliver what’s needed in this area, before Caboolture West comes online and before North Harbour sells out.

“It’s like all roads lead to Rome in this part of the world, because Morayfield’s where the major shopping precinct is for everyone from Bribie Island and out to Kilcoy.

“This project is about protecting the lifestyles of those that live work and play here - from the tens of thousands of incoming residents and shoppers that just drive through it. “

Cr Mark Booth (Div 2) cautioned candidates not to ‘by-pass’ major infrastructure projects this election.

“Residents regularly ask me why governments don’t build infrastructure before developments come online, so here’s an example where the planning has in fact already been done by Council we just need the Feds to come to the party and get this vital bit of kit built before it’s too late,” Cr Booth said.

“The Morayfield Neighbourhood plan forecasts 16,000 people moving into this immediate area, and that’s not even including major nearby developments, we need to protect their lifestyles and keep traffic off local streets, this Buchanan road upgrade is instrumental in being able to achieve this.

“Council is stepping up to the challenge of accommodating growth to maintain our local lifestyle, but we’re being left in the cold by the State and Federal Governments when it comes to providing the major critical infrastructure solutions we need.

“This is about making sure 100,000 people in and around Morayfield can actually get out of their street and use our road network.”

Mayor Peter Flannery added that he was tired of seeing roads funding go to Gold and Sunshine Coasts at the expense of Moreton Bay.

“This only reinforces my conviction that we need to stop acting like a regional council and start behaving like a city council to get our fair share out of Canberra,” Mayor Flannery said

“The crisis that’s coming for the Bruce Highway and our regional arterial roads isn’t a future problem, the issue already exists and we have a plan to fix it - but we immediately need our fair share of funding!

“We could be ready to start works as soon as 2026, we just need the money.

“And I want to assure locals that we would consult with them, as we are already doing, and we’d plan to roll-out this project in four stages strategically timed to minimise the impacts on surrounding communities and traffic. 

“So while Council has a plan, we just can’t continue doing all the heavy lifting alone.

“We need locals to go to the polls to elect representatives with voices loud enough to be heard in Canberra, that’s the only way we’ll ensure Moreton Bay gets the money we need to tackle the challenges ahead.”

There are four separate sections that make up the project (Cost Estimates):

  • Kirkcaldy St to Morayfield Rd - $149 million

    Duplication of Buchanan Road and William Berry drive including the construction of a new bridge over the rail line and Sheepstation Creek

  • Graham Rd to Kirkcaldy St - $12 million

    Duplication of Buchannan Road from west of Graham Road to Kirkcaldy Street

  • Bruce Hwy to Graham Rd - $24 million

    Duplication of Buchanan Rd to Bruce Hwy interchange, including signalisation of Graham Rd intersection

  • Weier Road - $10 million

    Upgrade along Weier Road from Buchanan Road through to Market Drive, to accommodate growth at the Plantation Retirement Resort and Blue Care facility