The Townsville Ring Road Stage Five is still considered an Infrastructure Australia priority project, however the organisation has called for an updated business case.
This call to address road capacity and safety through Townsville follows the conclusion of Infrastructure Australia’s independent evaluation of the project.
Chief Executive of Infrastructure Australia, Romilly Madew, explained that Infrastructure Australia has long supported the need to improve road capacity and safety along the Bruce Highway.
“It is important to note, that despite not identifying the current business case as a priority project on our Infrastructure Priority List, the Townsville Ring Road remains on our Priority List as part of a nationally-significant program initiative, which is why we welcome an updated business case that addresses our concerns,” Ms. Madew said.
The current business case, submitted to Infrastructure Australia by the Queensland Government, consists of two major components:
- Duplication of a six-kilometre section of the Townsville Ring Road between Vickers Bridge and Shaw Road (the last remaining two-lane section of the Townsville Ring Road)
- Interchange works to provide a new connection to the Ring Road at Beck Drive, and changes to the configuration of the existing Riverway Drive interchange.
Infrastructure Australia concluded the completing the ring road should be retained as part of a program initiative on the priority list but, the combined proposal could not be added to the list of projects without an approved business case.
Ms. Madew, explained the decision was based on both major components of the project and not solely on the upgrade to the Ring Road.
“Our evaluation of the business case found that completing the Townsville Ring Road to a consistent four-lane standard would improve transport efficiency, travel-time reliability and safety on this section of the road. However, the evidence in the business case showed that the major intersection upgrades at Beck Drive and Riverway Drive significantly add to the costs of the project, while delivering only marginal benefits to the community,” Ms. Madew said.
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