More than $2 billion worth of planned upgrades has been given the green light by Infrastructure Australia, after the business cases for three Queensland projects were approved.
Infrastructure Australia, the nation’s independent infrastructure advisor, added the Queensland projects to the priority list, which is the pipeline of nationally-significant proposals for governments at all levels to choose from.
The three new priority projects:
The Bruce Highway – Cairns Southern Access Corridor. Stage 3: Edmonton to Gordonvale.
M1 Pacific Motorway (Eight Mile Plains to Daisy Hill) and;
M1 Pacific Motorway (Varsity Lakes to Tugun).
“Being included as a Priority Project on the Infrastructure Priority List shows that a proposal has undergone a rigorous business case assessment and been proven to have significant benefits for the community,” Infrastructure Australia chief executive Romilly Madew said.
“[The] Priority List identifies close to $4 billion worth of nationally-significant projects for Queensland, which are critical to improving both productivity and quality of life,” Madew said.
Bruce Highway upgrade
The Bruce Highway proposal would create a four-lane highway between Edmonton and Gordonvale.
A portion of the road that has recorded high crash rates.
“Between 2007 and 2012, 79 crashes were reported along this section, almost double the rate reported on similar roads across Queensland,” Madew said.
M1 Eight Mile Plains to Daisy Hill upgrade
Up to 150,000 vehicles travel daily on this section of the M1, and due to southeast Queensland’s growing population, this figure is forecast to grow to more than 200,000 by 2041.
The proposal would widen an 8.5 kilometre section of the motorway, improve local busways which Madew says would relieve congestion in the area for the next 15–20 years.
“The project also supports active transport through the provision of an extended cycleway,” she said.
M1 Varsity Lakes to Tugun project
This proposal aims to improve a congested section of the motorway that connects northern NSW and the Gold Coast.
“Increased traffic volumes are causing a high number of accidents and worsening travel times, impacting on local residents travelling to work as well as tourists, tour operators and freight vehicles,” Madew said.
“Widening the motorway in both directions will reduce congestion along this vital corridor, and support the Gold Coast’s economic development.”
Madew said that being included on the Infrastructure Priority List supports better project selection.
“By ensuring Australia’s governments are presented with the best available evidence when making funding decisions,” she said.