Qld proposes motorway and ring road


Queensland to look at new motorway and ring road to address impact of heavy vehicles on the state's road network

September 1, 2010

The Queensland Government will look at building a new motorway network and ring road to address the impact of heavy vehicles on the state’s road network.

Following the announcement of the Government’s long-term transport plan yesterday, Transport Minister Rachel Nolan says urban arterial roads are being clogged at the moment because the only north-south route for heavy vehicles is the Gateway Motorway.

The 20-year Integrated Regional Transport Plan for South East Queensland proposes another north-south motorway with a ring road to address the problem.

"We are looking at a new north-south motorway from Toowong to Everton Park, with connections to the Bruce Highway and Airport Link - to be investigated in tunnel," Nolan says.

"If we can provide the high order orbital or ring road system, heavy traffic and trucks can orbit around communities not barge their way through local roads."

According to Nolan, up to 340,000 heavy vehicle movements in Brisbane each day will be on the new motorway rather than the suburban network.

"It will also give motorists other options so they can avoid using the old congested arterials and we can convert them to multi-modal arterials roads with higher capacity," she says.

INVESTING IN RAIL

With freight traffic forecast to increase by nearly 130 percent to 169 million tonnes a year by 2031, Nolan has highlighted the need to spend more on the rail network at the Port of Brisbane.

"Currently, rail only caters for about 13 per cent of freight movement through the port and has been steadily declining in the past five years," Nolan says.

"We want to increase the share of freight moved by rail. To do this, we are looking at expanding the Acacia Ridge terminal and undertaking works that will result in a dedicated rail line to the port to take 1500-metre trains, up from the current 1200 metres, allowing for capacity of about 750,000 containers a year."

Nolan says the investment will allow rail shuttles to run between the port and terminal, thereby reducing the number of trucks on Brisbane roads and delays at the port.

She says the Government will look at building new intermodal freight terminals at Bromelton, Ebenezer, Australia TradeCoast, Swanbank and to the north of Brisbane.

However, Nolan has provided no details on when the Government intends to look at the feasibility of the proposed freight projects, timetables for their construction or how they will be funded.


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