Sunday Gridlock

Outbound traffic from Bribie Island on a Sunday has become a nightmare. With increased tourism and living population, Bribie’s bridge with a single lane in each direction just isn’t cutting it anymore.

Built in 1963 the bridge has provided a vital connection to the mainland and a useful draw for tourism to the island. With the construction of the bridge, Bribie became the only Moreton Bay Island connected to the mainland, which has made it an attractive living choice. Since the bridge’s construction population numbers have swelled to over 17,000 which is a huge leap from the population of 600 before the bridge.

The skyrocket in population and the addition of more tourist destinations means Bribie Island Road and Bribie Bridge are seeing an influx of traffic. With increased traffic numbers weekend gridlocks and traffic accidents have become a frequent occurrence.

State Member Simone Wilson MP has been flooded with resident concerns regarding the gridlock.

“Last week alone I received four calls from locals about the congestion and spoke to people when I was out and about in the community.  They all know where this gridlock is stemming from and that is Bribie Island Road.  The week before last my office received a number of calls from locals and the week before that more fed up locals either called or came into my office to voice their concerns for what is going on.  Hardly a day will go by when people don’t contact me to express concerns for the increasing problems on our roads.  Like a gentleman from Sandstone Point who told me how Bestmann Road East a few weekends ago was banked up for two kilometres with cars trying to get onto Bribie Island Road at the lights.  The Government’s neglect in fixing our major road, Bribie Island Road, is a frequent complaint and without a doubt the single most important issue that people raise with me.” Simone said.

Andrew Joyce is one such resident, who found himself stuck in the gridlock whilst trying to get a friend to the airport.

On his experience, Andrew had this to say “It was a couple of Sundays ago. We were going to the airport and we were at the roundabout near the BP, the big roundabout, and it took around thirty minutes to get to the entrance of the bridge. And the outbound lanes from the roundabout to the bridge were just at a standstill.”

Luckily for Andrew’s friend, that was visiting from Melbourne, they managed to make it to the airport just in time. However, if they’d been stuck in the gridlock much longer they easily could have missed their flight.

“I’ve never seen it like this before. It was evident to me that most of the traffic around me were visitors to the island for the day and going home. It was just congestion to leave the island, it seemed like everyone was leaving at the same time. Given the amount of crashes on the bridge it would seem the bridge is too narrow for the amount of traffic that’s now using the bridge.” Andrew said.

The bridge itself is not the only issue; Andrew Joyce related that the traffic gridlock is also partially because Bribie Island Road only has two lanes.

“It is not possible to look at the gridlock issues on Bribie Island in isolation.  The root cause is coming from a heavily congested Bribie Island Road.  There is a major bottleneck occurring with vehicles trying to exit the Island – people are coming back from the beach at Woorim causing the round-a-bout at Goodwin and Sunderland Drives to block, then they are trying to get out from Welsby Parade and Sylvan Beach Esplanade.  Add to this the amount of cars trying to get out of Bestmann Road East and you can start to see why the two lanes along Bribie Island Road (before the dual carriageway past Kalmakuta Drive) is just not sufficient to carry this amount of cars.  On top of this, there is significant development occurring in the Spinnaker Drive precinct with hundreds more residents to be living there in the very near future.” Said Simone Wilson MP.

While works are currently commencing on Bribie Island Road the Bribie Island Bridge situation is far from being solved. The Department of Transport and Main Roads has conducted a corridor study looking at duplicating/replacing Bribie Island Bridge but as of yet no work has officially begun and is unlikely to start until sometime between 2031 to 2038.

Simone Wilson MP is trying to push for a solution sooner rather than later.

“We all need to be able to get out on weekends and move around our Island.  The best advice I can give residents is to get behind my fight to fix Bribie Island Road and you can do this by signing my petition”

You can find the petition at www.FixBribieIslandRoad.com.au

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