Call for overpass upgrade to be fast-tracked

Published 4:00pm 7 September 2022

Call for overpass upgrade to be fast-tracked
Words by Nick Crockford

Delays and congestion at the Linkfield Road Overpass are frustrating thousands of motorists – and Federal Member for Petrie Luke Howarth - every day.

A second high-load bridge strike in six months has forced speed restrictions, traffic control measures and police to return. Trucks are banned again.

It has driven Mr Howarth to accuse the State Government of “dragging its feet” over the $125 million upgrade, which has been fully funded since 2018.

He said the Queensland Transport and Roads Investment Program (QTRIP) 2021-22 had expected expenditure of $30 million by the 2022-23 financial year.

However, the recently released 2022-23 QTRIP shows expected expenditure at $2.4m

A spokesperson for Transport and Main Roads (TMR) this week said the project spend was $3.944m.

Call for overpass upgrade to be fast-tracked
Damage on the underside of the overpass after a high-load strike.

“Two years ago, I was calling out the Queensland Labor Government for dragging its feet on this project,” LNP member Mr Howarth said.

“The traffic congestion at Linkfield Rd is affecting jobs, productivity and road safety.

“Fast forward to 2022 and I am still calling on the State Government to get this upgrade built.

“In the space of six months there have been two separate incidents of high-load bridge strikes, restricting traffic and causing chaos for commuters.”

The TMR spokesperson said detailed design is underway, further community engagement is planned later this year and the detailed design expected to be completed early next year.

“Construction is scheduled to start in 2023 and be completed in 2025, weather and construction conditions permitting,” the spokesperson said.

Call for overpass upgrade to be fast-tracked

The recent bridge strike has not affected the design process or the construction start date.

Mr Howarth said the Federal Government had committed $100m to the overpass in 2018, with the State Government contributing the additional $25m.

He said in 2020, the Federal and State Governments unlocked $5 million for scoping works to move the overpass upgrade toward construction.

“The federal funding has been sitting there for years, waiting for the Queensland Government to get their act together and they say detailed design is only starting now!” Mr Howarth said.

“What happened to the $5 million released in 2020?

“The Queensland Government need to come clean on why they have allowed such severe delays on this critical road upgrade. The community deserve an explanation.”

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