15 May 2012

Full speed ahead: Member for Oxley Bernie Ripoll, Transport and
Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese, and Member for Blair
Shayne Neumann are impressed with the new Ipswich Motorway.

Under budget and ahead of schedule. Those are words not often savoured by Transport Ministers, but on Tuesday Anthony Albanese was able to do just that when he officially opened the Dinmore to Goodna Ipswich Motorway Upgrade project at Redbank.

The Federal Minister for infrastructure and Transport fronted hundreds of the project's Origin Alliance workers, state, federal and local politicians and officers from the Ipswich Police to announce the practical completion of the 8km project, six months ahead of schedule.

"I know this is a project which was fought for long and hard by the Ipswich community," Mr Albanese told the gathering.

"This is the single largest federally-funded project in Queensland's history, $1.76 billion. And I don't often get to say this, but it was brought in under budget and under time."

Construction on the upgrade started in January 2009 and took more than 1000 workers 8 million man hours to complete.

According to statistics by the Department of Transport and Main Roads, the project required about 1.67 million cubic metres of earthworks, 500,000 tonnes of asphalt, more concrete than Wembley Stadium in London, and more reinforcing materials than used in Eiffel Tower.

Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale described the project as opening a gateway to Ipswich City, since it will be used by more than 90,000 motorists daily.

"It's the proper link which connects our capital with our city," Cr Pisasale said.

"This infrastructure is not a gift, it's something that is terribly needed for the growth in our in the west here. This money is not a hand out, it's an investment in growth."

With Dinmore to Goodna complete, attention has turned to funding the Darra to Rocklea Ipswich Motorway upgrade, which has been in the pipeline since 2003.

Oxley MP Bernie Ripoll said while there was no funding for it in the recent Federal Budget, the project remained a top priority for the region.

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