Residents demand upgrade to 'two-lane goat track'

FIX THIS: George Hatchman and Scharmaine Harrold on the Cunningham Highway intersection at Amberley. Residents are still sick of the lack of action on the Willowbank Interchange.
FIX THIS: George Hatchman and Scharmaine Harrold on the Cunningham Highway intersection at Amberley. Residents are still sick of the lack of action on the Willowbank Interchange. Rob Williams

IT is the most important road project on the western side of Ipswich where congestion is driving commuters nuts on what has been called a "two lane goat track".

So now Blair MP Mr Neumann is calling on both the Federal Government and the Queensland Government to get cracking and do the $345 million Willowbank Interchange upgrade from Yamanto to Willowbank in the usual 80/20 split of funding.

Willowbank Area Residents Group vice-president Ian Dainer agreed and said the state of the Cunningham Hwy in that stretch was a "national disgrace". His group represents 1200 residents, all of whom have had enough.

"It is madness," he said.

"The highway is a two-lane goat track from Yamanto to Willowbank.

"It carries 17,000 vehicles a day, of which 11,000 turn off at the entrance to the RAAF base.

"There was a minor nose to tail yesterday that shut the highway down for two hours. There was a fatal last night at Warrill View that shut it down. There have been three fatals in the last five years on that stretch of road.

"It is just a national disgrace.

"We have been campaigning and we have written to ministers, both state and federal in the last 12 months, demanding they get this upgrade funded."

Mr Neumann said the much needed upgrade was "an infrastructure priority according to Infrastructure Australia with $345 million needed from Yamanto to Ebenezer Creek at Willowbank" .

Mr Neumann has received a letter from Main Roads Minister from Bark Bailey, and the Blair MP said the State now needed to update the business case, which was initially submitted in 2012, so the project could be advanced.

"It was in the infrastructure pipeline report that was released in June 2016, and as soon as that business case is submitted to Infrastructure Australia and the project is shovel ready I am calling on the Turnbull Government to put their share towards it," Mr Neumann said

"I also want the Queensland Government to put their fair share in the 80/20 split.

"I expect the project will cost closer to $400 million but it's an important project with the $1 billion the Federal Government is spending, with bi-partisan support, on the upgrade of RAAF Base Amberley where 5500 people work."

Mr Neumann said the current road infrastructure was frustrating the lives and livelihoods of people.

"This is an issue because the traffic is banked up all the time in the morning and the afternoon," he said.

"It is a safety issue and it is important for economic development. There is congestion for trucks and the base personnel and it is an important project for the people in Willowbank and Ipswich region generally.

"Once the business case (from the State) is in the pressure will be on the Federal Government to fund it."

Topics:  cunningham hwy federal government ipswich shayne neumann state government willowbank

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