COSTCO DELAY: What happened and what members should do next
COSTCO could be mistaken as the Christmas Grinch as Ipswich families have been stripped of their super-sized festive favourites.
The company this morning announced in an email to members the Bundamba warehouse would not open in November as promised earlier this month.
Instead it will open in the new year and families who planned their Christmas dinner with Costco treats will have to travel to North Lakes or settle for the Australian version.
In an email to members, Costco Australia managing director Patrick Noone said a delay in roadworks had pushed back the opening date.
"Although the warehouse itself is progressing well, and despite the best efforts of our contractors, we cannot open until the roadwork upgrades and related services are completed," he said.
A Costco spokesperson this morning said weather had contributed to the delay.
"It is really unfortunate, it was a lot to do with the rain, it caused the roadwork around the warehouse to be delayed," the spokesperson said.
"It's a safety issue.
"The guys doing the roadworks can't make the specified date. November 29 was the latest time in the year we could open so we have had to delay to the new year."
The spokesperson said a new opening date should be confirmed within the month.
"If anyone is upset, they can get in contact with us. We are going to take care of our members," the spokesperson said.
Mr Noone said all employees already hired would continue working either at the new warehouse or helping at Northlakes.
"We may delay some other hiring until a month or two out," he said.
"However we will still look for the right employees in the meantime."
It comes after it was revealed in September Costco would pay for a congestion-busting upgrades on the nearby highway.
The US American warehouse giant confirmed it would pay for upgrades the State Government recommended, which would include improvements to the intersection of the Ashburn Rd and Warrego Highway off-ramp intersection.
The highway intersection upgrade was to improve traffic efficiency and safety.
A Queensland Planning Department spokesperson said Costco would have to ensure all road upgrades were in place prior to the store's highly-anticipated opening.
"Costco was required to engage traffic engineers to assess the local and state-controlled road networks, any roadworks requirements and whether there would be any adverse impacts or not," a spokesperson said in September.
In addition to the highway upgrades, Ipswich City Council has ordered Costco to undertake other road works as part of the site's development along Ashburn Rd and the construction of a new cul-de-sac adjacent to the warehouse.
A state government spokesperson said if the works guidelines were complied with, if all works were carried out in accordance with instructions there would be no adverse impacts on traffic once the works were completed.
RACQ Head of Public Policy Dr Rebecca Michael said they would like to see the Department of Transport and Main Roads monitor traffic flow and the safety of the westbound entry ramp.
"Large shopping developments like this are very popular but can create traffic issues throughout the day, and on weekends when people are out and about. Road upgrades are necessary so we can safely and efficiently manage additional traffic," she said.
RACQ also said the government should monitor the road network after Costco opens in order to identify any emerging congestion hot spots, and suggested that drivers could always seek alternative access to the site.
"Drivers can also use the longer River Road entry ramp as an alternative to head westbound on the Warrego Highway," Dr Michael said.
It comes after the 2014 opening of Costco's first Queensland store led to a surge in traffic in the North Lakes area, compounding existing traffic problems around the site and creating delays of up to 30 minutes for some drivers at peak times.
The state and federal governments intervened in 2015 with the construction of a $105million, six-lane overpass.
The membership office will still be open Monday to Friday, for more information see Costco.com.au.