Toowong Legacy Way Expansion to Foil Gridlock In Planned $62 Billion Infrastructure Project

The Council of Mayors in South East Queensland (SEQ) has submitted a proposed $62 billion infrastructure project that would expand motorways and rail lines in the region. Toowong’s Legacy Way stands to benefit from this plan, along with 46 other roadworks expected to be rolled out from 2019 to 2041.

Three roadworks identified in the SEQ People Mass Movement Study, which was released last January, will significantly impact Toowong traffic gridlocks once the road constructions are underway.

The North-South Link (Inner Western Bypass) will comprise a tunnel corridor linking from Toowong (Centenary Motorway and Legacy Way) to the North-West Transport Corridor at Everton Park. The East-West Link will entail the construction of a tunnel connecting Toowong from Legacy Way to the South East Freeway. The Centenary Motorway Bypass, on the other hand, will cover Sumners Road Interchange to Legacy Way at Toowong and link to North-South Link at Everton Park.

In an interview with the media, Council of Mayors Chairperson and Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said that South East Queensland needs to get these infrastructure projects started to cope with rising demands. Population growth in the region is expected to increase in the coming years and the current transport strategies will not be enough to sustain SEQ’s global competitiveness and livability.

“As the population continues to grow, this plan is an important step towards protecting the quality of life we currently enjoy in SEQ,” Mr Quirk said. “[This is] ensuring that we can safely and efficiently move residents, tourists and freight throughout our region.”

Photo Credit: South East Queensland Council of Mayors

The Council of Mayors expects all levels of government to increase infrastructure spending to $3.5 billion a year for the key projects until 2031. After this, spending may lower to $2.7 billion a year to complete all 47 motorway and railway projects by 2041.

Mr Quirk said that the projected numbers are realistic, economical, and efficient compared to the infrastructure spending in cities like Melbourne and Sydney.

During a BCC meeting held on the 5th of February, however, Labor opposition leader Peter Cumming questioned the validity of the study. The Council of Mayors apparently commissioned French company Lagardère Sports, through its specialised team Event Knowledge Services (EKS), to conduct the study. This is the same group that did a feasibility study for the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

Since 2018, SEQ expressed plans to bid for the 2023 Olympics to be held in Brisbane. Mr Quirk said that the bid cannot push through if the infrastructure projects are not approved.

The mayor also said the study collected multiple data on the federal, state and council levels. There hasn’t been a comprehensive infrastructure report that identified the possible road problems affecting all sectors of government. Thus, attempts to invalidate the report “would be a very bad move,” according to Mr Quirk.