Lord Mayor to widen ICB to tackle traffic congestion

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk has announced the Inner City Bypass will be widened from three to four lanes between Legacy Way and the RNA tunnel to increase capacity to allow for future growth along the key corridor that already carries more than 85,000 vehicles per day.

The Lord Mayor said $80 million would be allocated over the next three years for the project with preliminary design and a contract tender process to occur during the next year with construction to commence later next year and completion forecast to occur in 2018.

Cr Quirk said as part of the preliminary design, Council would undertake a technical investigation to determine if a new ramp could be constructed at Bowen Bridge Road to enable commuters to access the outbound Legacy Way tunnel via a direct link to the ICB creating opportunities for public transport and vehicular traffic to enjoy its travel time savings.

The Budget includes a $665 million allocation over the next four years for the Kingsford Smith

Drive upgrade and Stage 1 of the Wynnum Road Corridor project that were the city’s next large infrastructure projects after Legacy Way.

“These projects are designed to boost businesses and economic development, expand their traffic corridors and help future-proof our growing city,” he said.

“Council’s Key Corridors Performance Report shows that in the morning peak Kingsford Smith

Drive, Wynnum Road, Coronation Drive and the Inner City Bypass are experiencing volumes near or at capacity.

“Traffic congestion in Brisbane costs business and resident’s time and money, equating to around $1.3 billion per year, and without the right level of investment in our transport system, this could rise to $3 billion by 2020.

“This coming year I am dedicating $41.4 million for the first phase of the Inner City Bypass four lane project, Wynnum Road corridor upgrade, and the Kingsford Smith Drive upgrade.

“The ICB upgrade will create four lanes in each direction between the Legacy Way connection at Kelvin Grove and the RNA tunnel. The RNA tunnel will become four lanes in the southbound direction but remains three lanes in the northbound direction.

“As part of this project we will investigate the option of enabling traffic heading northbound from the city to access the ICB from a ramp at Bowen Bridge Road via a left hand merge.

“If this is feasible, the ramp would importantly enable public transport, as well as general traffic, access opportunities to Legacy Way heading westbound and allow both public transport users  and vehicular traffic to enjoy the travel time savings which will cut the journey from Kelvin Grove to Toowong to just four minutes.

“These works will improve safety, reduce traffic congestion and increase capacity for existing and future traffic demands.

“This section of the ICB currently carries more than 85,000 vehicles per day and is a major link in the road network with connections to Lutwyche Road, Airport Link Tunnel, Clem Jones Tunnel, Legacy Way Tunnel and the soon to be upgraded Kingsford Smith Drive.”

The four lanes on the southbound carriageway will include:

  • Two inside lanes for the ICB, one lane for Airport Link and one lane for
  • Clem7/Lutwyche Road, approaching the RNA tunnel from the north.

Two inside lanes to enter Legacy Way and two outside lanes to continue on the ICB, approaching the Legacy Way connection.

The RNA northbound tunnel does not provide sufficient width to safely accommodate a fourth lane. The preferred option includes a four lane cross section on the northbound carriage way to the Herston Road exit with the existing three lane arrangement retained beyond Herston Road.

Cr Quirk said no lane closure would be required during peak periods for the four-lane project however there may be a small reduction in the speed limit for motorist and worker safety during construction.

The contract for the Kingsford Smith Drive project – which will widen to six lanes to reduce traffic congestion and improve safety – is expected to be awarded later this year with construction to start in the new year.

Council is finalising the concept design of Stage 1 of the Wynnum Road Corridor Upgrade that will see Lytton Road between Latrobe Street and Canning Bridge widened from four to six lanes and completed by 2020.