WORK: The Pearce Ave bridge is part of the new Bells Creek Arterial Road.
WORK: The Pearce Ave bridge is part of the new Bells Creek Arterial Road. Erle Levey

Mega-deal flagged to bust Caloundra traffic dramas

IT'S a traffic solution that could help snap the congestion dramas on Caloundra Rd and the Bruce Hwy for a cool $50 million.

That's the deal proposed by Caloundra South developers Stockland.

Stockland is currently delivering the first, $35 million, 2.8km stage of the Bells Creek Arterial Rd and has suggested if its economic losses incurred from a bring-forward of funds could be reimbursed, it would be willing to fast-track completion of the remaining 7.3km stretch.

If a deal could be struck it could see the Bells Creek Arterial Rd provide a second connection to the Bruce Hwy south of Caloundra years earlier than the current expected completion date of 2029.

 

FROM ABOVE: Work underway on the Bells Creek Arterial Rd.
FROM ABOVE: Work under way on the Bells Creek Arterial Rd. Stockland

State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle said it was a proposition that shouldn't be rebutted immediately, the economic benefits and traffic improvements the completed road would bring were too significant to ignore.

Federal Member for Fisher Andrew Wallace said the proposal was on his radar and had been for some time.

While he too believed some action had to be taken, he warned against setting a precedent, saying the Federal Government was not in the business of doing the work of developers, particularly work that had already been committed to.

Under the Infrastructure Agreement struck between Stockland, Sunshine Coast Council and the State Government, the developers will spend about $97 million from 2017-2029 on the remaining 7.3km stretch.

"If Stockland were to forward fund this cost and fast track the construction of the entire, remaining length of the Bells Creek Arterial Road, it would cost Stockland an additional $50 million, approximately, in holding costs, which is outside the existing Infrastructure Agreement, and would require Stockland to be reimbursed," Stockland regional manager Ben Simpson said.

Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey was in transit yesterday and was unable respond before deadline.

Mr Simpson said Stockland was supportive of calls to fast track the extension given the benefits it would have in easing Caloundra Rd traffic, as well as access and congestion to and from as well as on the Bruce Hwy.

A fully-completed Bells Creek Arterial Road would also impact on future property prices in Caloundra South.