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Easing Traffic Congestion

Contractor announced for congestion-busting Kingsford Smith Drive upgrade

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Contractor announced for congestion-busting Kingsford Smith Drive upgrade
Lord Mayor Graham Quirk today announced Lendlease as the preferred contractor to design and build Council’s latest major congestion-busting infrastructure project, the Kingsford Smith Drive upgrade.

Cr Quirk said the appointment would deliver the best outcomes both for Brisbane motorists, public transport users, pedestrians, cyclists and the local community.

“This new contract will not only tackle congestion by delivering travel time savings of up to 30 per cent but will also create an estimated 3,000 much needed jobs for our local economy,” he said.

“There is no denying the delivery of key infrastructure such as the Clem7, Go Between Bridge, Airport Link and Legacy Way is delivering travel time savings for motorists right across our suburbs.

“Council is confident Lendlease will deliver an iconic project for Brisbane, expanding one of our city’s most important traffic corridors to help future-proof Brisbane for generations to come.

“It will also serve as a wonderful gateway for the millions of tourists, visitors and residents who enter the city along this route every year.

“The Lendlease bid was chosen because of the outstanding value for money it provides for ratepayers by combining innovative design with strong community outcomes.”

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss welcome today’s announcement and said the upgrade to Kingsford Smith Drive is an investment in Brisbane’s future.

“As one of Australia’s fastest growing cities, Brisbane needs well-planned infrastructure to meet the future demands of residents, businesses and industry,” Mr Truss said.

“The Australian Government is investing in key infrastructure to keep the south east corner moving, and this upgrade to Kingsford Smith Drive will have a key role in cutting congestion and improving productivity for the city, the state and the entire nation.”

Cr Quirk said the $650 million upgrade would boost business and economic development by increasing capacity on one of Brisbane’s busiest roads.

“Kingsford Smith Drive is one of the most significant routes in the city for Brisbane’s economic prosperity and has been operating at capacity for several years, with peaks of up to 70,000 vehicles a day,” he said.

“By 2031, the Airport, Port of Brisbane and major growth areas including Northshore Hamilton and the Australia Tradecoast are expected to generate about 30,000 additional vehicle trips per day.”

Cr Quirk said the upgrade would form a key part of Council’s balanced approach to managing growth and tackling traffic congestion.

“The upgrade provides travel time savings of up to 30 per cent in 2031 for an inbound trip in the AM peak between Theodore Street and Breakfast Creek Road,” he said.

“However, the Kingsford Smith Drive upgrade will be much more than just a road project.

“In addition to providing increased road capacity to accommodate future traffic volumes, the upgrade will also deliver significantly improved public transport, pedestrian and cycle facilities for both existing residents and the developing Northshore precinct.

“Our Kingsford Smith Drive upgrade allows for a high frequency bus service to be introduced to meet demand from Hamilton Northshore and we will discuss this with the State Government as the Hamilton Northshore development expands and be seeking a meeting with the State Government about this as soon as possible.

“This bus service will never be viable under Labor’s do-nothing plan. Modelling shows if the project doesn’t happen, ten intersections along the corridor will be over capacity by 2031. Labor’s plan would only upgrade three intersections, leaving seven over capacity and with no cycleway and no public transport.”

Cr Quirk said Council undertook resumptions for this project that had been approved by the Labor Opposition at Council meetings on 24 August 2010 and 30 October 2012.

“Three years ago I was urged by the Labor Opposition Leader Milton Dick to get on with the project because Kingsford Smith Drive was ‘a car park that needs to be fixed,” he said.

“I would hope that Cr Dick remains true to his word and supports my team in voting for this congestion-busting project today and not follow the path of his Victorian Labor colleagues who cancelled the Melbourne East West Link and now face a damages bill of over $800 million and no project to tackle congestion.”

Representing Minister Truss at today’s announcement, Senator for Queensland Joanna Lindgren said the upgrade will cater for pedestrians and cyclists, as well as motorists.

“The upgrade will increase the capacity of a number of intersections and create new indented bus bays, as well include on and off-road cyclist facilities and continuous pedestrian footpaths,” Senator Lindgren said.

“It ties in well with other projects funded by the Australian Government, including Legacy Way which will help commuters travel around Brisbane more quickly and easily.”

Cr Quirk said the project would also create an iconic journey and entry statement to Brisbane.

“As a major gateway to the city for tourists, visitors and residents, Kingsford Smith Drive will be transformed into a vibrant urban corridor that maximises public access to the river and reinforces Brisbane’s identity as a new world city,” he said.

The Kingsford Smith Drive upgrade will see the road widened from four to six lanes between Theodore Street at Eagle Farm and Cooksley Street at Hamilton. It will also include improvement works between Cooksley Street and Breakfast Creek Road at Albion.

Preliminary works on the upgrade are expected to start later this year with construction beginning in early 2016 and completion expected in 2019.
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