Craig Wallace and Anthony Albanese (middle) cut
the ribbon on Sunday.
ABOUT 420,000 tonnes of asphalt has been laid for the $824 million upgrade of the Ipswich Motorway and Centenary Highway interchange between Wacol and Darra – the equivalent of a single lane road from Brisbane to Gympie.
More than 1.4 million cubic metres of bulk earthworks was completed, which is enough to fill 560 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
These are just two of the many interesting facts about the major road infrastructure project, but there's only one fact that truly matters: it's finished.
Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister, Anthony Albanese and Queensland Main Roads Minister, Craig Wallace joined a host of local politicians, project workers and the community on Sunday to help mark the commissioning of the project.
The project was completed nine months ahead of schedule, on budget and would reduce crash rates and ease congestion.
To mark the significant occasion, a community open day was staged on Ipswich Road Service Road to give people a chance to see the constructed free-flowing multi-level interchange up close.
Mr Albanese attended the sod turning back on March 2, 2008 – the same day as his birthday – and was glad he could return to see the project completed.
"I take a great deal of pride to be here today," Mr Albanese said.
"Today is a significant milestone in the ongoing upgrade of the Ipswich Motorway between Darra and 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."
Federal Member for Oxley, Bernie Ripoll praised the efforts of the project team and workers and thanked the community for its patience during the construction process.
"Everyone had to fight for this to be a reality and now we have made it a reality," he said.
"It hasn't always been easy, there were times when we thought the community would revolt, but they knew how important this is and the legacy of this will last for many years."