A second river crossing in Ipswich Central desperately needed to unlock bottlenecks and improve road safety is now one step closer after the Liberal National Party (LNP) committed $2.5m towards an alternate cross-river route.
Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding said the proposal, known locally as the Norman Street Bridge, is a key priority that council had been advocating for as 2022 federal election commitment.
“Council certainly welcomes this commitment from the LNP to the Ipswich community,” Mayor Harding said.
“What this means in real terms is that if the LNP wins government on Saturday (21 May) we will be able to progress the Ipswich Central Second River Crossing to shovel-ready status by completing the Detailed Business Case.
“The Ipswich Central second river crossing is one of six asks on council’s federal election wish list.
“A multi-modal flood-immune second river crossing in Ipswich Central will future-proof the inner-city road network and reduce impacts to productivity caused by congestion and incidents.”
Division 3 Councillor Andrew Fechner said the Ipswich Central Second River Crossing is integral to catering for increased traffic demand due to population growth.
“With the David Trumpy Bridge already operating overcapacity and carrying 40,000 vehicles a day, the second river crossing is crucial to reducing congestion for road users, pedestrians, residents and businesses in Ipswich Central and surrounding suburbs,” Cr Fechner said.
“By providing an alternate route for over 20,000 through-traffic vehicles per day in 2036, a second river crossing will support connectivity, inner-city revitalisation, economic development and is integral to enabling Ipswich Central to fulfil its role as a principal regional activity centre.
“This $2.5m promise to progress to the Detailed Business Case is an important next step for this long-awaited project.
“A second Ipswich Central river crossing has been part of council’s long-term infrastructure planning for many years and is an endorsed proposal within the City of Ipswich Transport Plan, iGO which adopted in 2016.”
“The Detailed Business Case will not only consider crossing but also the impact on the wider road network which I know is of great interest to Division 3 residents particularly those in East Ipswich, Basin Pocket, Newtown, Eastern Heights and North Booval.
“Importantly, this step will include comprehensive community consultation. It is vital that we hear from those communities who will be directly impacted by this proposal.
“The Detailed Business Case is crucial to unlocking the significant future funding from state and federal governments that will be required to see the second crossing constructed.”
Ipswich City Council is advocating for the following commitments:
- $10 million towards the Ipswich to Springfield Central Public Transport Corridor Options Analysis and Detailed Business Case to ensure this project is shovel-ready. Read more about the City Deal boost to the business case for rail and public transport.
- $2.5 million for an Ipswich Central Second River Crossing (Norman Street Bridge) business case.
- Unlocking 6,000 FTE jobs in the future Ebenezer Regional Industrial Area by delivering critical trunk infrastructure and the Ebenezer Intermodal Terminal.
- $2.5 million towards the North Ipswich Sport and Entertainment Precinct investigations.
- A commitment to review and reform waste and resource recovery policy and infrastructure and deliver a waste industry transformation plan.
- A commitment to upgrading our critical road network to improve safety and reduce travel times across the Cunningham, Warrego and Centenary highways and the Ripley PDA.
Division 3 Councillor Marnie Doyle said it is well beyond time to see actual progress, and with the support of the federal government we can see that happen.
“A second river crossing is part of council’s broader strategy to help future-proof Ipswich’s road network,” Cr Doyle said.
“If we do not get the state and federal support we need to build a second river crossing in Ipswich Central, local businesses will continue to suffer from congestion, we will continue to see network failure during flooding.”
Infrastructure Australia, which last year gave priority list status to council’s proposed Ipswich to Springfield Public Transport Corridor, is currently assessing a stage one submission on the second river crossing and will announce the outcome in mid-2022.
Mayor Harding said council had already carried out feasibility studies with the support of the State Government and delivered the Strategic and Preliminary Business Cases.
“The 2022 federal election is an important opportunity for council to secure commitments for projects that support the future liveability and prosperity for the City of Ipswich,” Mayor Harding said.
Read more about the commitments council is advocating for this federal election:
- Ipswich to Springfield Central Public Transport Corridor leads council’s election hit list
- Second River crossing to bust Ipswich Central congestion
- $10 million City Deal boost to Ipswich public transport
- $20 million stadium commitment to make North Ipswich NRL-ready
- Game-changing Ipswich industrial precinct to unlock more than 3,500 jobs