The Royal Automobile Club of Queensland is sounding the alarm on a potential traffic nightmare once the Olympic Games hit town, if measures are not taken to improve congestion at the Centenary Highway, considered as among SEQ’s slowest during peak hours.
As the southeast region of Australia gears up for the 2032 Olympic Games, concerns arose regarding the state of the transportation infrastructure, particularly the Pacific Motorway and Centenary Highway.
The lack of effective bypass routes and inadequate road capacities have resulted in severe traffic congestion, leading to prolonged travel times and frustrated motorists. The Royal Automobile Club of Queensland (RACQ) has called for substantial upgrades to these key road networks to avert a potential traffic nightmare during the highly anticipated global event.
According to Greg Miszkowycz, RACQ’s traffic and safety engineering manager, peak-hour travel times on major roads, including the Pacific Motorway and Centenary Highway, have increased significantly compared to 2019.
This alarming trend indicates the urgent need for substantial upgrades to alleviate congestion and ensure smooth traffic flow throughout the region. The RACQ has emphasised the importance of these upgrades as both the Pacific Motorway and the Centenary Highway serve as major traffic pressure points and pivotal routes for commuters from the western suburbs.
The challenging bottlenecks
The data from the Transport Department for March highlights some of the most problematic areas. One of the slowest stretches of the road was the 14km northbound strip of the Pacific Motorway, causing substantial delays and frustration for travellers.
Similarly, the Pacific Motorway northbound, from the Logan River to the Paradise Rd junction, experienced significant congestion due to road works and breakdowns, resulting in excessively long travel times. Additionally, other routes, such as Bald Hills to Carseldine and the intersection of Beaudesert and Algester roads, faced similar challenges, further exacerbating the traffic situation.
Recognising the urgency, the government has allocated significant funds for infrastructure improvements across various road networks, including a recent $400 million, 3km upgrade of the Ipswich Motorway. These initiatives aim to enhance traffic flow, increase capacity, and boost speeds during peak hours.
The Department of Transport and Main Roads spokesperson acknowledged the challenges posed by recent large-scale construction projects, COVID-19 disruptions, and road flooding, which have impacted traffic speeds. However, the government remains committed to implementing measures that will mitigate these temporary setbacks.