THE latest traffic count survey has given council a strong case for the proposed Norman Street Bridge project linking North Ipswich and East Ipswich across the Bremer.
City Infrastructure Committee chairwoman Cheryl Bromage said an 8% increase in traffic on the northern side of the city demonstrated the need for a second bridge crossing.
Traffic statistics show 36,500 vehicles use the David Trumpy Bridge each day.
"The Norman Street Bridge will not only be a vital transport project for the city but a key 'place making' project for the Ipswich City Centre," Cr Bromage said.
"Once constructed, the Norman Street Bridge and the associated road network will deliver many positive benefits citywide.
"The new bridge will encourage non-essential through traffic out of the Ipswich City Centre, making way for opportunities for streetscape improvements, on-street dining, speed limit reductions as well as enhanced pedestrian and public transport facilities."
She said other benefits included:
- Travel time savings and reduction in traffic congestion.
- Alternative cross-city access during times of emergency (e.g., flood, crash).
- Enhanced access to the emerging northern part of the Ipswich City Centre.
- Bus network efficiencies.
- Improved pedestrian and cycle connections.
The proposed four-lane bridge would connect Downs St via Lawrence St at the western end and Chermside Rd via Norman St at the eastern end.
The city's single biggest infrastructure project, Stage 1 is estimated to cost $190 million and $320 million for the whole scheme.
Under Stage 1, the Fiveways would become the "Fourways", reconfigured with Glebe Rd closed at the intersection.
Federal MP Shayne Neumann has backed the project from day one, saying it was crucial for economic development and jobs and growth in the region.
New Member for Ipswich Jennifer Howard said funding for the Ipswich Mwy was her top priority, followed by the Norman Street Bridge project.