The construction of a new northbound bridge at the notorious Centenary Motorway bottleneck over the Brisbane River at Jindalee has been delayed until 2023.
- The $244 million Centenary Bridge upgrade, in Brisbane’s west, has been delayed to 2023
- Work to improve the major bottleneck was due to start this year
- Transport Minister Mark Bailey says an alternate bid for the project has to be investigated
The $244 million project involves duplicating the Centenary Bridge and converting the existing bridge to a three-lane southbound route, with a new three-lane bridge traveling northbound.
Transport Minister Mark Bailey said contract issues had complicated the upgrade’s timeline, with delays due to an alternate bid being submitted for the project that required “thorough due diligence” before work could proceed.
“[The delay is] unfortunate but not a huge delay, so we’re getting it built as soon as we possibly can,” Mr Bailey said.
“We’ll certainly see construction start next year.”
He said the bridge upgrade was a critical part of the Centenary Motorway upgrades throughout the west of Brisbane.
“Without the bridge [upgrade] whatever other work you do is still going to grind to a halt with limited lanes across the river,” he said.
The Centenary Motorway currently carries 85,000 vehicles daily, with use expected to balloon out to 152,000 vehicles daily by 2036, as the population of Ipswich, Springfield and western Brisbane booms.
Between 2010 and 2016, the motorway recorded nearly 200 crashes.
The RACQ’s monthly travel speed data reported that in May 2022, Brisbane’s slowest inbound morning traffic was just 25 kilometers per hour on the Centenary Motorway from the Ipswich Motorway to Dandenong Road, adding nearly nine minutes to the morning commute.
The bridge upgrade, jointly funded by the federal and state governments, is one of several road upgrades along the Ipswich corridor, including a recently completed $80 million upgrade to the Sumners Road interchange at Jamboree Heights.
Another $10 million in federal funding has been set aside to investigate more upgrades along the Centenary Motorway through to Ipswich.
Mr Bailey said, to date, the bridge upgrade’s budget remained at $244 million, but department planners were closely monitoring the global inflation of construction materials.