Sep 16, 2008

Building a Better Motorway for Townsville Residents

Building a Better Motorway for Townsville Residents


The Hon Anthony Albanese

Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

September 16 2008

Detailed planning on the $55 million duplication of the Douglas Arterial Motorway between Townsville and Thuringowa will begin next month, with an independent consultant expected to be appointed soon to do this work.

The Rudd Labor Government has provided the Queensland Government with $5 million to make sure the necessary planning work is completed by June 2009.

By beginning the critical planning work now, we will be in a position to start delivering on our commitment to fix this section of the Bruce Highway at least 12 months earlier than previously thought possible.

At last year’s election, Labor said it would make tackling congestion on our roads a priority. Today’s announcement is proof we are moving quickly to honour that pledge.

Once completed, the duplication will go a long way towards addressing the peak hour congestion being experienced by local motorists, providing a faster and safer link through the Hospital/University precinct across the Ross River to the growing south-western suburbs.

This upgrade cannot come soon enough for the residents of Townsville and Thuringowa, with traffic along the Douglas Arterial forecast to grow from 22,000 to 33,000 vehicles a day by 2013.

The planning study will get this project rolling.

The upgrade of this section of the Bruce Highway is an exciting development for the region and will create safer driving conditions and shorter commute times.

Importantly this work will identify a preferred option for progressing the project to the construction phase – one which the local community will be consulted about.

Funding for the Douglas Arterial duplication project is part of the Rudd Labor Government’s plan to invest $2.2 billion between 2009 and 2014 on improving the condition and capacity of the Bruce Highway.

This plan includes $490 million for projects in the Townsville-Burdekin area such as:

  •  $110 million for duplication of the Bruce Highway from Vantassel Street to the Flinders Highway;
  •  $55 million to duplicate the Douglas Arterial – 5km from University Drive to Upper Ross River Road to four lanes;
  •  $90 million to realign 4.15km of the Bruce Highway on the northern side of the Cardwell Range;
  • $40 million to improve flood immunity at the Gairloch Floodway north of Ingham;
  •  $50 million to realign and raise Highway from Sandy Corner to Collinsons Lagoon;
  •  $25 million Burdekin River Bridge Upgrade – to extend the life of the bridge with major maintenance work on steel girders, painting and rust elimination;
  • $95 million for the Townsville Port Access Road and;

 $25 million Burdekin Road Safety Audit projects.

For a large, decentralised and rapidly growing state like Queensland, modern well-planned roads are essential. Such infrastructure prevents traffic congestion, cuts commuting times, improves safety, supports export industries and reduces harmful carbon pollution.