THE Queensland and Australian governments last week announced the contract for the $400 million Ipswich Motorway Upgrade from Rocklea to Darra Stage 1 has been awarded to Brisbane-based Bielby Hull Albem Joint Venture, with works expected to begin later this year.
The Rocklea to Darra Stage 1 section of the project involves a 3 kilometre upgrade of the Ipswich Motorway between Granard Road, Rocklea, and Oxley Road, Oxley, with the motorway to be widened from 4 to six lanes and new traffic signals to be installed at the Suscatand Street intersection.
The section will also include higher bridges over Oxley Creek, including 7 new bridges, a new southern service road connection from Rocklea industrial precinct to the Oxley commercial and retail areas, and a new northern service road connection over Oxley Creek floodplain.
"The Ipswich Motorway is currently a major source of frustration for more than 85,000 motorists who use this section of the motorway daily, including up to 12,000 trucks," said Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.
"This project will not only improve safety and travel times for motorists, it will support 470 direct jobs which is great news for local workers and business."
Federal Minister for Urban Infrastructure Paul Fletcher said the project was delivering on a commitment to upgrade the Ipswich Motorway.
"More than 12,000 trucks use this section of the Ipswich Motorway daily and are experiencing delays that are currently putting pressure on our fright network, and increasing the risks associated with road accidents," Mr Fletcher said.
"This major infrastructure project will upgrade the Ipswich Motorway from four to six lanes along a three kilometre stretch between Rocklea and Oxley and delivers on a commitment made by the federal Government.
"The commercial vehicles and local commuters who travel this road on a daily basis will experience improved travel times and motorway capacity into the industrial heart of Brisbane."
The Ipswich Motorway Upgrade is a jointly funded project with the Australian Government and the Queensland Government each committing $200 million. The contractors will now start detailed design of the upgrade, and will be onsite to begin works later this year, with completion scheduled for 2020.