Brisbane’s ugliest building makes way for new ‘Grand Central’

The Brisbane Transit Centre has been completely demolished, marking a huge milestone for the transformational Cross River Rail project.

A mammoth operation has been underway since the start of demolition works at Cross River Rail’s Roma Street site were announced exactly a year ago today (18 December 2019).

Getting rid of the three buildings on site – Hotel Jen, the East Tower the West Tower, which housed the Brisbane Transit Centre – has been one of Brisbane’s largest ever demolition exercises.

About 20 subcontractors and around 900 workers have been involved at various stages over the past year.

More than 98 per cent of demolition waste has been recycled – that’s more than 104,000 tonnes of concrete and more than 5,500 tonnes of metal and steel.

Now the Brisbane Transit Centre – which has often been considered ‘Brisbane’s ugliest building’ is no more – work can commence on the city’s new ‘Grand Central’.

Work will now start on installing 120 piles to stabilise the ground on the site of the new Roma Street station before crews start excavating the new station building’s 20-metre-deep shaft.

While the two-hectare Roma Street site is a hive of activity above ground, even more work beneath the surface goes unseen, as two huge roadheaders excavate the station cavern.

Construction of Cross River Rail is progressing at a time when our economy needs it most.

Cross River Rail is injecting more than $4 million a day into the economy and has already supported more than 2,400 workers so far.


Brisbane Transit Centre demolition fast facts:

  • Brisbane Transit Centre opened in 1986;
  • Demolition commenced in December 2019 and was completed in December 2020;
  • The buildings were demolished level by level, starting at the top and working to the ground;
  • An 85-metre tower crane was used to move heavy equipment between floors during the demolition;
  • About 900 workers and about 20 subcontractors have been involved in demolition;
  • About 98 per cent of waste will be recycled, including 104,146 tonnes of concrete and 5571 tonnes of metal and steel;
  • Concrete from the buildings is crushed to be reused in the construction of roads and other infrastructure;
  • 120 piles will now be installed to stabilise the ground in preparation to excavate the 20m deep x 45m wide x 48m long station building shaft;
  • With piling work complete for the nearby Services Building, excavation of the 22m deep x 25m wide x 45m long shaft is underway;
  • On average, more than 46,000 people are expected to use the new Roma Street station every day by 2036.