QUEENSLAND Treasurer Curtis Pitt last week said faster travel times for Logan motorists and more than 1,300 jobs could be on their way soon under a $450 million market-led proposal from Transurban Queensland to upgrade the Logan Motorway and the Gateway Extension Corridor.
The proposal is the first to progress to the detailed assessment phase of the government's new Market-Led Proposals framework, which was announced in the State Budget in July.
Mr Pitt said the proposal includes interchange upgrades at key congestion and accident hot spots, widening parts of the Gateway Extension Motorway and the construction of some new ramps to ease congestion and improve safety.
"Based on Transurban's initial modelling, the project is expected to create more than 1,300 new jobs during construction and generate more than $1.2 billion in economic benefits for Queenslanders," Mr Pitt said.
"This proposal is a great example of industry bringing their ideas to the table and working with government to facilitate them.
"The Logan Motorway Enhancement Project has received early support from a wide range of stakeholders including Logan City Council, the Queensland Transport and Logistics Council, the Queensland Trucking Association and the RACQ.
The proposed project includes:
- Upgrading the Beaudesert Road and Mt Lindesay Highway interchange to remove queuing on the motorway;
- Widening the Gateway Extension Motorway from four to six lanes between Compton Road and the Logan Motorway interchange to accommodate future traffic growth;
- Realigning and widening (where necessary) to ensure six through lanes on the Logan Motorway from west of Mt Lindesay Highway to the Wembley Road ramp to accommodate traffic growth;
- Providing new service roads and braided ramps at the Logan Motorway and Gateway Extension Motorway interchange to remove through traffic from motorway and reduce motorway queuing;
- Upgrading the Wembley Road interchange to remove queuing on the motorway and improve travel time reliability; and
- Providing new south facing Compton Road ramps to provide full connectivity from the motorway to Compton Road.
Minister for Main Roads and Road Safety Mark Bailey said the Logan Enhancement Project responded to a clear need for action.
"It provides an outstanding opportunity to transform a vital part of SEQ's transport infrastructure that is currently suffering from congestion and causing reliability and safety concerns," he said.
"This project promises to deliver a safer and more efficient motorway network by relieving local traffic congestion, reducing travel times, while improving safety and enhancing connectivity with other major road networks.
"The proposed works also address major congestion and road safety issues currently experienced on the Mount Lindesay Highway and Wembley Road interchanges.
"Over recent years we've seen a significant increase in commercial traffic, for example between 2010-2014 there's been average network growth of 52.5% for commercial vehicles, compared to less than 7% for private vehicles," Mr Bailey said.
"The road upgrade will also improve productivity and the more efficient delivery of goods and services.
"Independent consultants KPMG have also forecast that the new road could halve the number of collisions by 2020. With the increased level of commercial traffic, any reduction in accidents is good news for all road users.
"Transurban has committed to a comprehensive stakeholder engagement process during the Detailed Proposal phase to ensure a thorough understanding of the project and stakeholder support."
Transurban proposes to fund the upgrades through toll increases for trucks across the Logan and Gateway Motorways. There will also be a new toll facility for motorists if they choose to use the proposed new south-facing ramps at Compton Road.
According to the government, motorists will not be forced to use any new tolling points and they will have access to alternative routes via the existing toll-free road network. Motorists who use existing toll routes and continue to use the same routes will not see an increase in tolls as a result of this project.
It is expected the Government will receive Transurban's final proposal in late 2016, when the Government will decide whether to proceed with the proposal, modify it, or consider other options.
Subject to receiving final government approval, construction is expected to begin in 2016 and be completed by early 2019.