Plans to build an underground rail tunnel beneath Beenleigh Town Square have been abandoned following over two years of advocacy from local council.
“TMR does not have any plans for an underground track in Beenleigh or anywhere on the project corridor,” a spokesperson for the Department of Transport and Main Roads said.
The proposed tunnel would have been installed under Beenleigh Town Square, which recently underwent a $5 million council-led beautification project.
The spokesperson said impacts on the town square partially prompted changes to the proposal.
“The alternative solution reduces significant impacts during construction to the local road network and town square,” he said.
The axing of the tunnel wasn’t the only change to the proposal.
Last week MyCityLogan reported the proposed new location of Beenleigh station was 650m north of its current position.
The originally proposed relocation was 200m south of the current spot.
The new location was chosen to help “achieve straight platforms”, the TMR spokesperson said.
“TMR received community feedback in 2021 that highlighted support for Beenleigh station moving further north and closer to the town centre, rather than further away,” he said.
“The community also shared with TMR that relocating the station further north would provide potential for urban renewal and better accessibility and connectivity to the local business centre.”
The spokesperson said the new location, near Beenleigh Magistrates Court, would enable the station to be built without disruptions to customers.
A Logan City council spokesperson said council welcomed the changes to the proposal.
“This positive outcome follows more than two years of advocacy by council to secure a better outcome for our community by locating the station closer to the town centre and minimising its impact on Main Street, and City Road,” she said.
“Importantly, it helps to protect council’s significant investment in the Beenleigh Town Square and surrounding streetscaping and will allow council to continue important place-making activities across the city centre that support increased visitation and economic growth.
“It will also improve active transport (cycling and pedestrian) connections between the station and the main streets of Beenleigh.”
The spokesperson said the Faster Rail project had the potential to provide “catalytic change for Beenleigh” and bring social and economic benefits to the region.
“Council will continue to work closely with the Queensland Government and Transport and Main Roads (TMR), including participating in a series of upcoming precinct workshops, to ensure the delivery of good urban design outcomes for Beenleigh and to capitalise on this significant investment in our area,” the spokesperson said.
Local councillor Karen Murphy said the new proposal was a win for the local community and businesses, as well as a “testament to council’s strong advocacy” for the community.
“Those efforts included a formal submission to TMR in October 2021, countless meetings and deputations, and an onsite visit I arranged with the TMR project team, to explain the impacts their original plans would have had on local businesses and residents,” Cr Murphy said.
“Shifting the proposed station north of the Beenleigh Town Square will encourage more private investment in Beenleigh and drive our town’s urban renewal for generations to come.
“It is a positive result that will have long-lasting benefits for our community.”