TRAFFIC BUSTER: $16M announced to ease traffic on Centenary
THERE'S relief in sight for Ipswich drivers who regularly find themselves stuck in traffic on the heavily congested Centenary Motorway.
The State Government is planning to build a second bridge across the Brisbane River at Jindalee, to ease congestion and widen the stretch by three lanes.
Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey has just announced $16 million for a detailed business case, on top of $4 million previously allocated to the project.
Once the business case is finished, expected mid-2019, the State Government will look to allocate capital funding for the project.
The new bridge will run parallel to the existing one with land already set aside.
Each day 85,000 cars travel along the busy stretch with that figure expected to double by 2036.
Mr Bailey told the QT the project would include an upgrade to the bikeway and provide a longer merging lane.
He said the project would prepare the stretch for the impending population expansion emanating from Springfield and surrounds.
"When merges are short, they tend to choke traffic up," Mr Bailey said.
"But when merging lanes are nice and long the traffic tends to keep flowing.
"We know there is significant population growth out in the southwest, particularly around Springfield which continues to grow strongly.
"And a lot of those people travel along the Centenary to get to work.
"It's estimated that by 2036 the Centenary will be used by 152,000 cars daily so we need to invest in infrastructure and that's one of the reasons why the Palaszczuk Government is upgrading the Sumners Rd Interchange.
The Ipswich Motorway upgrade between Darra and Oxley is another major congestion busting project being carried out by the State Government, with the stretch expected to open in 2020.
Mr Bailey said that project was on track.