The State Government Minister For Main Roads, Mark Bailey visited the Sunshine Coast today (Thursday March 31st) to make announcements on future intersection upgrades around the new Sunshine Coast University Hospital. He also was present at the announcement of the opening of the Cooroy Bruce Highway Bypass this morning.
During his visit he found time for a 30 minute chat with representatives from BeCA to discuss Caloundra Road and other traffic issues around our area.
It appears the first priority for the Government and Council is to explore alternative routes into Caloundra away from the Nicklin Rd/Caloundra Rd roundabout and Bowman Road and thus lighten traffic along Caloundra Road. The Department of Main Roads was working closely with the Sunshine Coast Council to plan, upgrade and build a variety of strategies and road improvements to try to lighten the traffic using the major roundabout.
The map below shows several of the ideas currently on the planning board and in full discussion between the Department of Main Roads and the Sunshine Coast Council.
At this stage the new east west corridor link (from Pelican Waters Blvd across to Bellvista Blvd and the Bells Creek Arterial) was seen as proposal for consideration in over 12 years time, rather then sometime in the immediate future. BeCA was keen to see planning and building of this link road get underway in a much shorter period of time as a matter of urgency. BeCA believes this should be seen as a longer term solution to solve traffic issues along Caloundra Rd.
BeCA argued that two new schools to come online just south of Arbour in the new Caloundra South by the beginning of 2018 and a rapidly growing community in Caloundra South will continue to create a major concern for traffic along Bellvista Blvd. This argument was countered by saying the new second entry/exit road along the soon to be completed Bells Creek Arterial would take much of this traffic. However BeCA remains unconvinced that the new Bells Creek Arterial Stage 1 will be the solution to many of our traffic woes, and that many parents and residents will continue to use Bellvista Blvd to drive children to and from school and visit Caloundra or Brisbane.
BeCA Management Committee Member and owner of the Positive Property People Real Estate Agency at Bellvista Market Place, Lani Ogilvie, suggested as many as 40% of our local residents commute daily to Brisbane to work.
There was a great exchange of ideas between, residents, planners and the Minister on a range of issues.
Minister Bailey thanked the residents for the frank exchange of ideas and went away from the meeting with a deeper understanding of the issues involved.
It isn’t often that a small Community Group can have such a wonderful opportunity to openly discuss issues with the person holding the purse strings! The meeting was arranged by Jason Hunt who has been most supportive of BeCA and its desire to find a solution to many of the traffic issues around our area.
We should also thank the Minister, Mark Bailey for taking the time from such a busy day to hear and consider our ideas.