“We are doing this in a sensible and measured way that means we can ensure we have all of the required approvals and pre-construction work undertaken before a report back to government in 2027-28.”


Initial estimates last year put the construction cost at more than $7 billion, but the government is banking on an economic uplift of $8 billion and some 1800 jobs.

With a state election in October, it will be up to the next government – whether Labor or otherwise – to decide whether to proceed and how to deliver the project.

Brisbane’s Liberal National Party council backs the project, and tolling giant Transurban has expressed interest in operating the tunnel.

NBI will now investigate where the southern and northern entrances – called tunnel portals – should be placed. It has yet to release its previous work.

The southern entrance at Kedron will most likely branch from the Airport Link tunnel and the northern entrance will be near the Gateway Arterial Road, north of Beams Road.

Transport Minister Bart Mellish said traffic on Gympie Road was projected to increase from 80,000 vehicles a day to 111,000 a day by 2046.

“The traffic projections show that without intervention what is already one of our busiest and most congested roads will continue to get worse over the next two decades and that is not acceptable,” Mellish said.

The budget sets aside another $17 million for a business case to consider above-ground active and public transport improvements along the corridor. That work will be done by the Department of Transport and Main Roads.