Centenary Highway Transport Options Upgrade in Springfield, Ipswich Now a Priority

The upgrade of transport options in Springfield and Ipswich, specifically on the Centenary Highway, was added among 44 proposals in the latest priority list of Infrastructure Australia.

Westbound of this 43-kilometre stretch, which is also known as the M5, was projected to increase by 400 percent as the population between Springfield and Ipswich is expected to grow from 222,000 to 558,000 residents in the next 20 years. 

According to the priority list, the daily trips from Ipswich to Springfield Lakes on the Centenary Highway were at 7,500 in 2016 but it will increase to 40,000 trips by 2036 as job opportunities also increase.

Robin Jackson, the chief of Infrastructure Australia, said that the current public transport options in this area will not support the future needs of the suburbs. Currently, the drive from Ipswich to Springfield takes 32 minutes and bus rides take almost two hours on three routes.

Photo Credit: Google Maps

Thus, the Ipswich City Council proposed adding bus networks to increase the frequency of services and coverage, as well as improving the existing roads and providing more public transport options.

On the state level, the Queensland Government has set out plans to fix 65 level crossings across the southeast by either building bridges or removing hazards. Road closures and restrictions are also in the proposal, with the Federal Government undertaking the following initiatives for the M5: 

  • intersection and on-ramp and off-ramp improvements
  • implementing smart freeway technology
  • road widening

Centenary Highway Receives $893K Centre Line Treatment

In hopes of boosting motorist safety on Centenary Highway,  the Department of Transport and Main Roads installed wide centre lines between Yamanto and Springfield Central.

The $893,000 project will lay out an additional separation between vehicles travelling in opposite directions, and also aims to reduce the potential for head-on crashes.

Works included installing wide centre line treatments with audio tactile lines and removing redundant line marking and installing new signs.

Centenary Highway, as one of the major junctions of the Centenary Motorway, serves more than 10,500 motorists per day. The latest RACQ’s Red Spot Congestion Survey named Centenary Motorway as the second most congested roads in Queensland.

In March 2019, a crash between a bus and seven vehicles caused traffic chaos on the highway. There were five reported physical injuries in the incident, with the two patients having sustained neck and back injuries.

Member for Ipswich Jennifer Howard believes the new treatment will help save lives and reduce the trauma caused by crashes.

Ms Howard said these important works stretched along 15 kilometres, between the Cunningham Highway interchange in Yamanto, and Augusta Parkway Interchange in Springfield Central.

The works are part of the Palaszczuk Government’s $1.92 billion, four-year road safety infrastructure program.

The Queensland Transport and Roads Investment Program 2018-19 to 2021-22 (QTRIP) details the current transport and road infrastructure projects that the Queensland Government plans to deliver over the next four years to meet the needs of the rapidly growing state.