New Sumners Road Interchange Renamed and Completed Months Ahead of Projection

Did you know that $80-million worth of upgrades to the Sumners Road Interchange, have now been completed, six months ahead of schedule? Considered one of Brisbane’s busiest interchanges, it’s now getting a new name as well.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk showed in a video post that the Sumners Road Interchange now delivers a smooth ride for the over 35,000 commuters who come from Jamboree Heights, Middle Park, Sinnamon Park, Darra, and the nearby suburbs. 

The interchange has been renamed the Len Waters Overpass, after the first Indigenous elite Kittyhawk fighter pilot of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) during World War II. The premier said that Mr Waters’s family members are residents of Middle Park. He raised six children in Inala before he passed away in 1993. 

“It’s a fitting tribute and a mark of pride in the local community, especially in the lead up to Anzac Day,” Ms Palaszczuk said.  

The Sumners Road Interchange consists of six lanes that remove the traffic congestions in the surrounding suburbs. The upgrades also include a cycling underpass and U-turn facilities that will allow faster and safer travels, especially for the industrial and business workforce. 

Photo Credit: Jess Pugh MP/Facebook

“We replaced the two roundabouts with signalised intersections, demolished the old two-lane bridge and built two new bridges, providing six traffic lanes in total to accommodate the high volume of traffic,” according to Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey.

This project is part of the $26.9 billion infrastructure investment of the State Government in the next four years, and a much-needed response in the time of COVID and the looming population growth of Queensland. 

During the course of the upgrades, 105 jobs were fulfilled and several businesses were tapped to supply the concrete and asphalt needed to complete the roads. 

Sumners Road Upgrade Moves One Step Closer, Early Works to Start in Late 2018

With the design process already underway, the upgrade of Sumners Road Interchange moves one step closer to completion.

The Queensland Government Department of Transport and Main Roads recently awarded the design contract to Arup Consultancy in March 2018. The department plans to start early works sometime in late 2018.

Member for Mount Ommaney Jess Pugh is delighted that the project is moving forward.

“This is great news for people who travel through western Brisbane because it will ultimately mean less time spent in the car, and more time spent doing what they enjoy,” said Ms Pugh.

The project is part of the $65-million allocation to decongest Sumners Road Interchange and Centenary Motorway, which registered some of the slowest traffic speed during peak hours, according to a report by RACQ.

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

Read: Centenary Motorway Registers Slowest Traffic in the City


The upgrade project is much anticipated as Sumners Road continues to operate beyond its capacity. Every day, up to 35,000 motorists pass through the interchange. Five-percent of the vehicles using the interchange are heavy vehicles.

Decongesting traffic flow at Sumners Road Interchange is essential as it is the main interchange going to the Ipswich-Centenary Motorway intersection. The project would also ease connectivity to Darra train station by reducing bus travel time.

The plan includes adding a second overpass bridge at Sumners Road. This is intended to improve the traffic flow along the interchange. The design will also replace roundabouts at each end of the bridge with signalised intersections.

On-road cycle lanes, shared paths and dedicated crossing facilities will also be added to encourage active transport options.

Preliminary plan for the Sumners Road Interchange (Photo credit:

Once the project is completed, it should improve efficiency and reliability for public, private and freight vehicles passing through the interchange. The project also aims to promote the safety of active transport commuters.

The upgrade is projected to take around three years, weather and construction conditions permitting.

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:

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.”