John Aitken and Dave Ritson (right) look at the
John Aitken and Dave Ritson (right) look at the "Donnybrook Highway”. Patrick Woods

A Donnybrook highway: potential solution to the Bruce?

COULD a new road connecting Bells Creek to Caboolture via Donnybrook be the solution to the Sunshine Coast's traffic woes?

Self-employed engineer Dave Ritson thinks so and he has presented a map showing the possible connection to Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey.

Mr Ritson, who stood for Division 1 in the Sunshine Coast Council elections, said the alternative road would solve many of the problems on the Bruce Hwy and wouldn't cost more to build.

"How are you going to upgrade the Bruce Hwy without major disruptions to traffic?" he asked.

"Even when there is an extra lane, where do you divert traffic to when there is an accident?

"This new road will solve those problems."

He suggested the road could be created at the Bells Creek Arterial and then extended through mostly state forest to come out at the Buchanan Road interchange at Morayfield.

 

The proposed
The proposed "Donnybrook Highway".

And he said the planning for it was already in place.

"There are long-term plans for another highway, known as the North South Urban Arterial, going from the Gateway Motorway all the way to Kawana via the Bells Creek Arterial," he said.

"I believe the northern section should be constructed first."

Mr Ritson has explained how it wouldn't be too hard or expensive to build.

"This will be mostly greenfield construction which is a much lower cost per kilometre than upgrading, mainly due to minimised traffic management," Mr Ritson said.

"There will also be no disruption of the Bruce Hwy during construction. This significance can't be over-stated.

"And there will be improved access to Bribie Island, Beachmere, Toorbul, Donnybrook and potential for development of that region."

He suggested the new road could also allow for Caloundra South to be a "little bigger on its south-east corner" and create future expansion for Halls Creek.

"The project would also see Beerburrum-Donnybrook Rd and Pumicestone Rd made suitable for road diversions around incidents on the Bruce Hwy."

Mr Ritson said it would double capacity for traffic to and from the Sunshine Coast instead of only the 50% extra lanes to the Bruce Hwy would allow for.

And it would eliminate the need for an upgrade to Steve Irwin Way to cope with the backlog caused by major traffic accidents on the Bruce Hwy.

Mr Bailey said he couldn't comment on the Donnybrook highway proposal as he hadn't had a chance to closely examine plans.

"It is easy to say, 'Build a road somewhere', but it would have to be investigated," he said.