Australia

Death and delays: Six Qld road fixes desperately needed

Six desperately needed Queensland major projects have been added to the national to-do list, including upgrades to killer regional highways, congestion-busting improvements for Brisbane's northern suburbs and a Sunshine Coast road so choked it is rated as suffering traffic overload on a national scale.

Along with removing highway black spots - 65 per cent of Queensland's road fatalities occurred outside major cities, Infrastructure Australia has added the Brisbane northern suburbs corridor, the Browns Plains to South East Busway initiative, improving the Queensland inland freight route, and increasing capacity and safety on the Browns Plains to Beaudesert and the Mooloolah River interchange on the Sunshine Coast.

Infrastructure Australia will release the full report today, for the first time updating it half way through the year as it tries to fast track big projects to create jobs and get the COVID economy moving.

Traffic on Gympie Road in Chermside . Pic Annette Dew

Traffic on Gympie Road in Chermside . Pic Annette Dew

Infrastructure Australia chief executive officer Romilly Madew, said the Priority List had been updated in order to showcase the extended pipeline of investment, now worth more than $64 billion.

"The Priority List is a critical tool in recovery, as it directs investment to the infrastructure projects that will kickstart economic growth and have the greatest returns for all Australians," she said.

A 2018 Transport and Main Roads concept representation of how the choke-point Mooloolah River interchange may ultimately be resolved.

A 2018 Transport and Main Roads concept representation of how the choke-point Mooloolah River interchange may ultimately be resolved.

Of the 245 lives lost on Queensland roads in 2018, over 65 per cent of the crashes occurred in areas outside of the major cities, it says.

The killer sections of narrow country highways make up just 3 per cent of the state-controlled road network by length but carry 20 per cent of vehicle kilometres travelled and 15 per cent of 'fatal and serious injury' crashes.

Options to make them safer include wider centre-lines, centre barriers and increasing shoulder widths and noisy line markings.

In Brisbane's north, the 60kmh and 70kmh Gympie Arterial Road crawls along at 36kmh in the morning peak and 32kmh in the evening peak and will only get worse without smarter intersections and better public transport, the report warns.

Remaining on the previous list, it says the M1 Motorway is one of the busiest roads in Australia. It already carries 150,000 vehicles a day, which the section between Eight Mile Plains and Tugun cannot handle.

As well as the Queensland initiatives, other new priorities were the Perth Metronet train system, the M12 Motorway in Sydney and also redeveloping the ageing Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra.

Originally published as Death and delays: Six Qld road fixes desperately needed

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