Minister for Main Roads
The Honourable Craig Wallace
South East Queensland residents are now benefiting from the region's newest piece of modern road infrastructure, with the $824 million upgrade of the Ipswich Motorway between Wacol and Darra completed nine months early.
Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese and Queensland Main Roads Minister Craig Wallace today joined with the local community to officially commission this new section of road.
"The work of the past two years has widened this section of Motorway from four to six lanes – with capacity for a further two – and constructed a new multi-level, free-flowing interchange between it and the Centenary Highway," said Mr Albanese.
"Today is a significant milestone in the ongoing upgrade of the Ipswich Motorway between Darra to Dinmore. Once fully completed in 2012, the more than 80,000 motorists that use this road every day will benefit from quicker commute times and safer driving conditions.
"What's more, it will also better support the movement of freight across what is one of Australia's fastest growing regions.
"The upgrade of the Ipswich Motorway was one of the first road projects to be commissioned by the Rudd Labor Government and is amongst the biggest currently underway anywhere in the country.
"It's exactly what our Nation Building Program is all about: putting thousands of Queenslanders to work modernising the road infrastructure that will be vital to our nation's long term economic prosperity."
The upgrade also features state-of-art intelligent transport systems to give motorists the best information; new service roads to cater for locals; improved access to public transport; 2.7 kilometres of new cycleway; and 3.4 kilometres of shared pedestrian and cycle paths.
Queensland Main Roads Minister Craig Wallace praised the efforts of the project team and construction workers for their hard work in completing the project ahead of schedule.
"It's a fabulous achievement and a credit to our road workers for getting the job done well ahead of time," said Mr Wallace.
"The early completion of the Wacol to Darra section is a win for workers and a win for motorists.
"The upgrade generated hundreds of jobs for road workers at a time when jobs and job security are more important than ever before, and it's delivered a vital piece of infrastructure to help meet the transport needs of a fast-growing region. It doesn't get much better than that."
Since construction began in March 2008:
- 26 new bridges have been built;
- More than 1.4 million cubic metres of bulk earthworks have been completed – enough dirt to fill 560 Olympic-sized swimming pools;
- 420,000 tonnes of asphalt have been laid – enough to cover a single traffic lane from Brisbane through to Gympie;
- 1.1 million plants and 10,000 native trees have been planted;
- More than 11,160 tonnes of concrete and 370 tonnes of steel recycled have been used; and
- Local waterways rehabilitated.
"I thank the local community for their patience over the last couple of years while works have taken place. They are the ultimate beneficiaries of a safer and more secure section of motorway," said Mr Wallace.
"This upgrade is another example of the Rudd and Bligh Labor governments working together to plan and build the infrastructure Queensland will need in the years ahead."
The Queensland Government identified the Western Corridor as a primary zone for future development, with industrial, commercial and residential developments driving the demand for new, modern road and rail infrastructure.
To date, more than $4 billion in state and federal funding being invested in Western Corridor transport projects, including:
- Centenary Highway Extension: Springfield to Yamanto;
- Ipswich Motorway Upgrade: Ipswich/Logan Interchange;
- Ipswich Motorway Upgrade: Dinmore to Goodna;
- Darra to Springfield Transport Corridor; and
- Corinda to Darra Rail Upgrade.