The current project design for Cross River Rail involves a 10.2km rail link from Dutton Park to Bowen Hills in Brisbane, with 5.9km of tunnel under the Brisbane River and central business district. The project forms a direly needed second crossing of the Brisbane River, a transport bottleneck in the region.

A spokesperson for the Queensland Government added, “The Cross River Rail Delivery Authority will now move to undertake the early works necessary and conduct market engagement to confirm the procurement and delivery strategy for major project elements.

“While this commitment delivers certainty of funding, it is expected that the cost to the State will be reduced through future Australian Government contributions and the proceeds of commercial funding sources, such as the development of government land around stations. The Queensland Government will continue to work with the Australian Government to secure a contribution that properly reflects the strategic importance of this project and its contribution to the nation.”

Previous visions for the project saw four TBMs with a 7m bored diameter, with underground stations to be constructed with various techniques including roadheader, cut and cover, piles walls and rock cuttings. Studies of the previously planned corridor revealed geology consisting of Neran-Fernvale Beds, Aspley Formation, mudstone, sandstone, Brisbane Tuff and alluvium. A particular challenge identified was uncertainty over the precise depth of the river.