Brisbane's largest infrastructure project, the Clem Jones Tunnel (CLEM7), opened on Monday 15 March at 10pm. The 6.8 kilometre road, links Bowen Hills in the city's north to Woolloongabba in the south, and includes a 4.8 kilometre tunnel, making it the longest tunnel in Australia.
Costing $3 billion, the CLEM7 is the first toll road in Brisbane's inner city, allowing motorists to bypass 24 sets of traffic lights. The tunnel was free for the first three weeks of operation, with concessional tolls introduced on April 6 until 9 May 2010 providing a 30 per cent discount off normal tolls. The CLEM7 is currently toll-free between midnight and 5.00am until 9 May 2010. It has been reported that RiverCity Motorway may extend the concessional toll period.
Following the concessional period, normal tolls for cars will be $4.28, $6.42 for light commercial vehicles and $11.33 for heavy commercial vehicles. Motorbikes will pay $2.14. Tolls are to rise on January 1 each year, in line with Brisbane's CPI.
In its first six days of full (toll-free) operation, more than 400,000 vehicles used the CLEM7, according to figures released by RiverCity Motorway. An average of 66,765 vehicles per day used the tunnel between Tuesday 16 March and Sunday 21 March. Weekday travel averaged 70,629 vehicles per day while, Saturday and Sunday an average of 59,038 vehicles per day used the tunnel (the tunnel was closed on from 5-9am on Sunday for a community bike ride).
RiverCity Motorway Group CEO, Flan Cleary said the road attracted "enormous interest" from motorists and that "while these are early figures, they do demonstrate that the Clem7 is set to be an important link in Brisbane's road infrastructure."
RiverCity Motorway Group is the operator of the CLEM7 and Brisbane Motorway Services, a Leighton Services and Bilfinger Berger Services Joint Venture, constructed, and will also maintain, the tunnel.