Ipswich City Council will spend tens of millions of dollars over the coming months partly widening Springfield’s most congested roads and shoring up public amenity safety.
In an effort to keep up with the region’s burgeoning population, Council announced in March last year a multi-stage strategy – known as the Major Road Duplication Project – to be delivered over several years.
It will double the existing single-lane stretches of the two-way thoroughfare running from Springfield Parkway to Springfield Greenbank Arterial, which conveys over 20,000 vehicles every day.
Division 2 Councillor Paul Tully said, “These are key arterial road links that will see traffic benefits flow across the whole of Division 2.”
The 2022-2023 budget, revealed in detail at the end of June, furnishes the project with $23.44 million for construction of Stage 3, going some of the way to addressing the community’s desperate demands for improved infrastructure.
“The Springfield region is experiencing rapid growth as a key urban centre within Ipswich,” Mayor Teresa Harding said, noting projected estimates of accommodating over 70,000 residents in the next 20 years.
“We’re providing increased capacity, safety, and accessibility as we begin to welcome another 330,000 residents [by] 2041 along our eastern growth corridor.”
“It’s all about developing a vibrant and sustainable city that accommodates the needs of our diverse and growing population, [and] will provide much-needed economic stimulus and support our city’s recovery from COVID-19 impacts.”
Council is working in tandem with the state government by way of the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads and Jordan MP Charis Mullen.
Last year, the order of stage delivery was flipped and Stage 1 pushed back, so commuters frequenting Springfield Parkway will have to wait longer than expected for widened roads.
In recent years, the heavily restrictive network – particularly between the Eden Station Drive intersection and Panorama Drive roundabout – has resulted in standstill peak-hour traffic extending more than a kilometre.
Part of the multi-pronged intergovernmental strategy to alleviate congestion is to expand public transport infrastructure, which includes the newly opened multi-storey park ‘n’ ride at the Centenary Highway turnoff, plus extra cycling lanes and shared pedestrian footpaths.
The $44.5 million triangular complex roughly doubled the total number of parking spaces available to travellers boarding trains at Springfield Central station. If needed, it can accommodate an additional parking level.
“That helps everyone get to work and then home quicker, so they can spend more time with their families,” Transport Minister Mark Bailey said.
“And with Cross River Rail well underway, and the 2032 Olympics only 10 years away, we are looking at a future with an expanded South East Queensland rail network, and we need the parking infrastructure to match.”
Ms Mullen said the facility will make a big difference to the work-life balance of Springfield commuters.
“With this volume of spaces available, I hope to see even more people through our community take advantage of the convenience of public transport for their travel,” she said.
Other improvements in the 2022-2023 budget include safer playing fields, parks, and playgrounds, like $350,000 for car-park lighting at Woodcrest State College.
Division 2 Councillor Nicole Jonic said community safety is a priority.
“Over the financial year, residents will see works happening across Division 2 playgrounds, such as Jane Gorry Park and Grande Park, to replace ageing infrastructure with new and modern amenities,” she said.
“An investment of $40,000 for sport field irrigation at Camira Recreation Reserve will provide huge benefit to the maintenance of these fields and a safer playing surface.”
Council plans to install fencing and bollards at Robelle Domain Parklands to stop vehicles unlawfully driving in pedestrian zones.
“Two new flood gauges will be installed at Springfield Lakes. Currently, the storage levels of the lakes are monitored monthly during routine inspections and daily during a flood event,” Cr Jonic said.
“These new stations will provide constant monitoring of storage levels and rainfall events with the data relayed in real-time to the Bureau of Meteorology.”