Olympic-Size Congestion: Call For Urgent Upgrade on Centenary Highway

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.

Alarming trend

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.

Government initiatives 

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.

Published 16-June-2023

Centenary Highway Traffic Flow Back to Normal After Sewer Main Burst

The Sinnamon Rd onramp and all inbound lanes of the Centenary Highway have reopened, after the completion of repairs to a burst sewer pipe and related road restoration works.

Northbound traffic on the Centenary Highway had been reduced to one lane for two days, after a sewer main burst that resulted in a sinkhole in Jindalee. One inbound lane of the highway was reopened at around 9:00 a.m. of 7 February. The Sinnamon Road onramp was opened at 7:00 a.m. although diversions remained in place until the road restoration works were completed before midday of 8 February.

In a statement, Urban Utilities revealed that the Jindalee repair is a complex job as it involves a large pipe under the medium strip, 7.1 metres below the ground.

Despite the ongoing repairs, Urban Utilities said that there is no interruption to sewerage services and that customers can continue to use their toilets and showers as normal.

“We’re managing flows by diverting wastewater through other local sewer pipes and are supporting the network with tankering.”

Overnight torrential rains may have contributed to the sewer main burst beneath the Centenary Highway, although authorities are also looking into other possible causes to help prevent similar instances from occurring in the future.

The Rich History of How Centenary was Formed

Centenary, as it is known today, consists of several suburbs namely, Jindalee, Mount Ommaney, Jamboree Heights, Middle Park, Westlake, Riverhills, Sumner, Sinnamon Park, and Seventeen Mile Rocks.

Do you know how and why Centenary was formed? Let’s take a look back at the historic past of Centenary and the origins of the names of its suburbs.

Photo credit: cshsoc.org.au

In 1959, Queensland’s Centenary Year, a  land developer named Hooker Rex planned the Centenary project. The project was a suburban development proposal that included a number of neighbourhoods with their own services and facilities that are capable of providing for all the needs of its residents.

The development started with the purchase of farmland in 1960. The contract for 1,416 hectare-development was agreed upon by the Council in 1961.

Photo credit: Kgbo/Wikimedia Commons

The Centenary Bridge and Highway were among the most important parts of the development as it provided access to and from the city and the northern suburbs. Officially opened on 14 October 1964, the Centenary Bridge was financed by the developers while the Centenary Highway was built by the Brisbane City Council still at the developers’ expense.

The suburbs and industrial estates that were planned to be a part of the Centenary project were Jindalee, Jamboree Heights, Mount Ommaney, Riverhills, Westlake, Middle Park, and Sumner. Meanwhile, Seventeen Mile Rocks and Sinnamon Park were developed separately.

Photo credit: Facebook/Brisbane Retro

The development was under the management of a public company called the Centenary Estates Limited for six years. In October 1967, the private shareholders were bought out by the Hooker Corporation Limited and the entire project was once again owned by the corporation.

The Establishment of the Centenary Suburbs


Photo credit: Twitter/Property Observer

Jindalee is an Aboriginal word which means “bare hills”. The establishment of the suburb in September 1962 brought the first public transport in the area, a bus going to and from Oxley Station.

Among the earliest establishments in the district were the Jindalee Golf Course, Swimming Pool, Bowls Club and the Looranah St. shopping centre. With its well-established golf course, swimming pool, and sporting facilities, it wasn’t long before Jindalee became a centre for sporting activities.

Jamboree Heights

Jamboree Heights was initially a part of Jindalee. When the Boy Scout held it’s Eighth Australian Pan-Pacific Scout Jamboree in Brisbane, Hooker Centenary provided the site. Later on, the place came to be called Jamboree Heights.

The 50th Anniversary of that historic Jamboree was celebrated in Jamboree Heights in January 2018. During that time, the participants learned more about the first Queensland Jamboree in 1967-1968.

Read: Celebrate Jamboree’s 50th Anniversary in Jamboree Heights  

Mount Ommaney

Mount Ommaney is considerably larger than Jindalee and Jamboree Heights. Despite the sloping nature of the terrain in the area, Hooker Centenary was able to develop a number of “Private Courts” in Mount Ommaney in January 1970, a feat considered a first in Australia.

Photo credit: www.mcleodgolf.com.au

Each private court contains approximately seven homes, each with their own private entrance and shared private ownership of internal roads and nature strips.

Mount Ommaney became a prestige homesite that offers excellent views of the mountains and the city.

The suburb is also home to the first women’s golf club in Australia, the McLeod Country Golf Club, which was completed in 1969. The original golf club was comprised of 9 holes and a clubhouse. It was later extended to a full complement of 18 holes in 1971.


Photo credit: realestate.com.au

Riverhills is named for its ideal location offering sweeping panoramic views of the Brisbane River. In January 1973, it was mainly marketed by the developer as a suburb for young people with young families, designed with a cul-de-sac concept that focuses on having a quiet environment with lots of privacy. Many of its streets were named after rivers, lakes, and other waterways of the world.


Photo credit: raywhitecentenary.com

Westlake was named by the developers in June 1973 for its nine-hectare freshwater lake. The developers maximised the landscape to give most of its homesites a view of the vast lake.


Sumner was named after the Sumner family who had been farmers and landholders in the area. Though the name was originally given to a road, the suburb later adapted the name in 1969.

Seventeen Mile Rocks

Photo credit: Google Street View

The Seventeen Mile Rocks suburb used to include Sinnamon Park in 1975 as it extended farther west. With the development of Sinnamon Park, the boundaries of the suburb changed and currently, part of the Edenbrooke Estate is in Seventeen Mile Rocks and part in Sinnamon Park.

Seventeen Mile Rocks have gone through several developments under different estate developers namely ECOSSE Investments Pty Ltd, BMD Constructions, Baldwin-Riverlands, and Verandah.

Middle Park

Middle Park was strategically named by the developers in July 1976 to reflect its location in the middle of the Centenary Suburbs. The area offers northerly views of the McLeod Country Golf Club.

Sinnamon Park

In 1989, Sinnamon Park was developed originating from the suburb Seventeen Mile Rocks. The new suburb was named after the family of James Sinnamon and Margaret, who were the pioneer European settlers in the area.

Photo credit: monumentaustralia.org.au

Today, Sinnamon Park houses a memorial dedicated to Thomas Macleod to celebrate his historic flights on 22 December 1910.

Read: Thomas Macleod and the Birth of Queensland Aviation in Sinnamon Park  

These are the historical origins of the names of the Centenary Suburbs. To have a deeper grasp on the history of Centenary, visit Centenary Suburbs Historical Society Inc.

Centenary Highway to Get $65-Million Upgrade within 12 Months

After a long wait, Centenary Highway could soon see some improvements as Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced that the government will spend $65 million for its upgrade.

The upgrade will involve the upgrade of the Sumners Road Interchange, which is used by 35,000 vehicles every day.

“This intersection has been a headache for commuters for a long time – now my government is committed to fixing it,” said the Premier.

“This upgrade, which will also create 50 jobs, will reduce congestion on the daily commute, and cut travel times for 5,500 heavy trucks that use this interchange daily, improving freight connections and supporting local businesses.”

The project involves adding two signalised intersections in place of the current roundabouts. A new two-lane eastbound bridge will also be constructed as part of the upgrade.

The plan will also see additional bike lanes, shared paths and crossings to provide active transport options to daily commuters.

Development is expected to start within 12 months, after completion of the design and the bidding process. The project should be done after two years.

Preliminary plan for the Sumners Road Interchange

(Photo credit: www.qld.gov.au)

Easing Traffic

The announcement is a welcome development for commuters, considering the importance of the highway to residents driving to the CBD from Brisbane’s western suburbs.

In a recent RACQ study, Centenary Motorway ranked number one on slowest traffic in the city.

Read: Centenary Motorway Registers Slowest Traffic in the City
Read: Left Out of State Budget, Centenary Motorway Will Continue Peak-Hour Crawl – RACQ
Read: Riverhills Still Wants a Bridge to Bellbowrie According to Recent RACQ Survey Results

Steven Miles, who is the Acting Minister for Main Roads and Road Safety, stressed that the project will have a positive impact on traffic flow in other parts of the city’s transport network.

“This is the closest city-bound interchange to the Ipswich-Centenary Motorway intersection, so easing congestion at Sumners road has far-reaching consequences,” said Mr Miles.

“It also improves connectivity to Darra train station through reduced bus travel times. That benefits passengers travelling towards Ipswich, Springfield or Brisbane.”