As reported by the ABC news, the Queensland government recently announced a 5.4 km tunnel project in Brisbane, designed to ease the city’s congestion problems at a cost of $5 billion. Dubbed the UBAT (Underground Bus and Train), the double-decker tunnel will accommodate buses on the upper level and trains below. The combined project replaces two separately proposed projects and is expected to save taxpayers $3 billion.
The Transport Minister Scott Emerson described the UBAT as “a once-in-a-generation” and “city-defining project for Brisbane”. With a focus on the cost of the city’s transport solutions, Emerson commented saying, “By combining the projects and also putting that station in George Street we do get a really great outcome for public transport users while giving a really effective use of taxpayers’ dollars.”
The project will commence in 2015, although as clarified in BRW, the ambitious 2015 timeframe is for early works and preparation only, with construction expected to start in 2016. Target date for the tunnel opening will be 2021.
The Queensland government has posted this short video clip showing the intended design.