Light at the end of the (Legacy Way) tunnel
31 May 2015
Joint release with:
Brisbane City Council Lord Mayor
Attorney General and Minister for the Arts
Senator for Queensland
Federal Member for Brisbane
Federal Member for Ryan
Brisbane's transport network is on the cusp of a new era, with the public enjoying a once in a lifetime opportunity to walk through the $1.5 billion Legacy Way tunnel today.
Legacy Way will open to traffic in the near future, with the 4.6 kilometre tunnel set to deliver a major boost in productivity to Queensland's economy.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said the project has supported the city's labour market while strengthening the city's road network.
“The Australian Government has committed $500 million to the Legacy Way project, an important part of the $9.5 billion package of works planned for Queensland through the Infrastructure Investment Programme,” Mr Truss said.
“More than 9,000 jobs have been supported through the Legacy Way project, giving residents many new opportunities for employment they might not have had otherwise. With the completion of this tunnel, as well as projects like the Gateway Motorway North upgrade funded under our $50 billion infrastructure plan, Brisbane's road network will remain strong.”
Attorney General and Senator for Queensland George Brandis represented Minister Truss at today's event and said the new infrastructure will save time and money for commuters and commercial operators alike.
“Legacy Way is a major investment in Brisbane's road network, whether that is saving money for small businesses, reducing congestion or improving road safety. By connecting the Western Freeway at Toowong with the Inner City Bypass, motorists will save up to 14 minutes in travel and bypass seven sets of traffic lights,” Senator Brandis said.
“It will also reduce costs for commercial operators through shorter travel times, as well as the more timely delivery of goods.”
Federal Member for Ryan Jane Prentice said residents of nearby suburbs would appreciate the new tunnel's benefits when it opened to traffic.
“Residents of Kenmore, Chapel Hill and Indooroopilly will avoid peak hour and substantially reduce their travel time. Meanwhile residents of inner suburbs such as Toowong, Auchenflower, Paddington, Spring Hill and Kelvin Grove, will benefit from the removal of unnecessary traffic from surrounding roads,” Mrs Prentice said.
“People will be able to enjoy a better quality of life by spending more time at home with friends and family, and less time stuck in traffic.”
Federal Member for Brisbane Teresa Gambaro said the tunnel would also deliver major road safety improvements.
“The Legacy Way tunnel features a state-of-the-art traffic control centre which will monitor for changed traffic conditions that might impact on motorist safety,” Ms Gambaro said.
“When combined with modern traffic signs, emergency telephones, and the fact that motorists will have a less congested and safer trip, this tunnel is a real boon for the community.”
Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said Legacy Way would open to traffic once the commissioning process was complete.
“While it has been unveiled to the public today, motorists will be able to use the tunnel after the final tick-off on 80,000 individual checks,” Cr Quirk said.
“Once open to traffic, the tunnel will provide an alternative route for traffic travelling between the Western Freeway and the ICB and will take pressure off Milton Road and Coronation Drive.
“Legacy Way is a 100 year piece of infrastructure, which will go a long way in ensuring Brisbane is a safe and accessible city for future generations.”
The Australian Government committed $500 million to the construction of Legacy Way, with Brisbane City Council providing the remaining $1 billion.