Council is today expected to support a motion ensuring the Gold Coast Highway through Palm Beach will remain four lanes as part of stage 4 of light rail.
Mayor Tom Tate wants to push ahead with a business case for stage four as soon as possible to ensure construction can get underway as soon as the extension to Burleigh Heads is complete.
Original plans for stage four had the Gold Coast Highway reduced to just two lanes through sections of Palm Beach, further angering locals.
ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER THIS ADVERTISEMENT
Council and the state government have confirmed any future plans for the route will include two lanes in each direction.
Mayor Tate says he wants the business case to be done on the basis of having four lanes.
“The four lanes…it’s the right priority to be doing your engineering and business case study and you got to put money aside for that,” Mayor Tom Tate said.
“So we’ll be doing that and of course, they’ll affect the bridge over Tallebudgera and the Currumbin Bridge there so we need to budget that and design that one early too.”
Transport Minister Mark Bailey insists the option of having just two lanes of traffic was never set in stone and is not something that he supported.
“We’ve absolutely listened to the local community. We do need to keep the two lanes of traffic in both directions so that we got four lanes of traffic in the design of the light rail,” Mr Bailey said.
“That was always an option and…we will certainly be doing that and it will be much better and much safer than the current situation through Palm Beach where it’s extremely squeezy right now.”
The Mayor is expecting Council to overwhelmingly back the move.
“I’d be surprised if not at least 14 to one so it’ll be a supermajority. After talking to some councillors and everyone’s keen to have the projects in time to start shortly after stage three is completed, I think that’s the timing.
“We want it completed. If you’re going to build for the 2032 Olympics, you must build a bit earlier and let the city enjoy the legacy early. To wait longer, it’s going to cost more anyway.”