Pedestrians and bike riders in Mooloolaba now have a safer, dedicated route to enter the heart of the popular beachside location, with the new Mooloolaba Walk and Ride Bridge officially opened today in time for the summer holidays and peak tourist season.
The $5.15 million pedestrian and bicycle bridge is co-funded by Sunshine Coast Council and the Queensland Government’s Cycle Network Local Government Grants program.
The 5m-wide bridge provides an impressive new entry into the heart of Mooloolaba, spanning a section of the Mayes Canal between Bindaree Crescent and River Esplanade and connecting the two previous stages of the region’s flagship separated bikeway and adjacent coastal pathways.
The parkland areas on either side of the bridge have been upgraded with new seating, shelters, trees and plants. The bridge and approaching pathways incorporate smart technology and LED lighting, including a pedestrian/bicycle counter, as well as new glow in the dark concrete being trialled on Sunshine Coast Council projects for the first time.
Mayor Mark Jamieson joined Councillor John Connolly and Mr Chris Whiting MP, Member for Bancroft to open the bridge.
“The Mooloolaba Walk and Ride Bridge is a vital active transport link into Mooloolaba,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“Providing this safe and easy route for people to walk, run and ride helps our community to enjoy an active outdoor lifestyle to make the most of sustainable forms of transport, helping achieve our goal of becoming Australia’s most sustainable region – healthy, smart, creative.”
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said he was proud to support this important new bridge which forms a stage of the Minyama to Mooloolaba separated bikeway.
“We committed to the Minyama to Mooloolaba Separated Bikeway project back in 2012 and have now invested more than $5 million with council to create a dedicated 1.6-kilometre off-road bikeway,” Mr Bailey said.
“We know that, on average every dollar we invest in bicycle infrastructure will return nearly five dollars in economic benefit to Queenslanders with improved health outcomes, reduced traffic congestion and lower transport costs.
“We also know more people in Queensland want to ride and providing dedicated infrastructure separated from cars will encourage people to get out and use active transport options for their daily commute.”
Division 4 Councillor John Connolly said the new bridge was designed to reflect its location and significance within the Mooloolaba landscape.
“The bridge incorporates distinctive architectural detailing and presents different experiences to users at different vistas, whether crossing the bridge, viewing from Brisbane Road or from the adjacent parkland,” Cr Connolly said.
“The Mooloolaba to Minyama bikeway is being used by bike riders of all ages and abilities, for commuting and recreational rides, and is proving to be a very worthwhile investment for our community.”
While the bridge is open to the public, some surrounding landscaping and minor works on the approaches will continue over the coming weeks.
The dedicated off-road cycle link, which will mark arrival into Mooloolaba, is part of council’s endorsed Place Making Mooloolaba Master Plan.
It is also the latest in a series of new cycling infrastructure constructed by council and jointly funded by council with the Queensland Government’s Cycle Network Local Government Grants program.
Recent additions include a new shared cycleway on Goonawarra Dr in Mooloolaba and a shared bridge over Eudlo Creek in Maroochydore.