A second Ipswich Central river crossing has been officially recognised by Infrastructure Australia.
The second crossing, which will be a game-changer for the city, now features in the national body’s 2022 Infrastructure Priority List, which outlines key infrastructure projects integral to managing Australia’s growth.
Infrastructure Australia announced that “the Ipswich City Centre cross river connectivity and network resilience listing is a Stage 1 proposal on the Infrastructure Priority List”.
Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding said council had been working alongside Infrastructure Australia for the need to improve the transport network in the CBD recognised nationally, and this announcement represented a significant step forward with federal recognition of the necessity of this project.
“A multi-modal flood-immune second river crossing in Ipswich Central will future-proof the inner-city road network and reduce the impact congestion and incidents have on productivity,” Mayor Harding said.
“This milestone is a great opportunity for renewed positive and productive engagement with the state and federal governments to secure the $2.5 million funding for a detailed business case to get the project shovel-ready.”
Mayor Harding said it was essential the State Government supported this project moving forward.
“A second river crossing, along with the Ipswich to Springfield Central public transport corridor, which was added to the 2021 Infrastructure Priority List, are the critical projects we need to get underway to support the future liveability and prosperity for the City of Ipswich,” Mayor Harding said.
“By freeing up traffic congestion in the CBD we can save the local economy more than $34 million per year in productivity costs.
“Ipswich is the fastest-growing city in Queensland, and these Infrastructure Australia listings have recognised significant investment will be necessary to maintain our residential amenity and keep our growing community connected to essential services and economic opportunities.”
Ipswich’s current population of 240,000 is expected to more than double to 550,000 by 2041.
Latest artist impression of the proposed Norman Street Bridge.
Division 3 Councillor Andrew Fechner said the Ipswich Central second river crossing was integral to catering for increased traffic demands due to the region’s population growth.
“With the David Trumpy Bridge already operating over capacity, 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.
“As part of the next step, there will be consultation with the community to shape the business case and to give residents the opportunity to provide feedback.
The Norman Street Bridge is one of three projects in Ipswich that have been identified by Infrastructure Australia’s 2022 Infrastructure Priority List.
Check out the full list here.
Division 3 Councillor Marnie Doyle said council was also advocating to the Queensland Government’s Department of Transport and Main Roads for recognition of this project at a state level.
“A second river crossing is part of council’s broader strategy to help future-proof Ipswich’s road network against population growth, congestion and flooding,” Cr Doyle said.
“During the recent flood event, with multiple CBD streets impassable for several days, traffic across the David Trumpy Bridge and throughout Ipswich Central ground to a halt.
“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 will enable Ipswich Central to fulfil its role as a principal regional activity centre.”
The earlier strategic and preliminary business cases found the project would deliver multiple benefits by:
- Enabling through-traffic to bypass the core of the Ipswich city centre
- Freeing-up existing road capacities to facilitate public transport, walking and cycling access to the CBD
- Increasing capacity and resilience of the transport network Ipswich to handle major flood events and (future) major events
- Stimulate economic growth and provide local jobs
In 2020, it was estimated the indicative cost of the Norman Street Bridge option was about $372 million, although it was calculated there would be a return of two dollars for every dollar invested.
Infrastructure Australia’s announcement noted that “City of Ipswich is investigating options, including Norman Street Bridge, as part of potential investment options for a Stage 2 assessment by Infrastructure Australia”.