national infrastructure experts name logan's priority projects
Have you ever crawled in traffic on the M1 near Daisy Hill and thought the highway needed an urgent upgrade, pronto?
You’re not alone. And the experts agree.
Infrastructure Australia (IA), our country’s independent infrastructure advisory group, this week released a report identifying the nation’s priority projects.
Its 2020 Infrastructure Priority List lists an upgrade of the M1 between Eight Mile Plains and Daisy Hill as a priority project.
What else does it recommend for Logan? We’ve dived through the report and this is what we’ve found.
Pacific Motorway (M1): Eight Mile Plains to Daisy Hill
This one stands out as it is the only new project in Logan to be made a priority project.
Looking at IA’s numbers, it’s easy to see why.
Without intervention, the IA predicts population growth in the region will cause average traffic speeds to decrease from 70 km/h to around 56 km/h by 2041.
The stretch currently carries more than 150,000 vehicles per day, with at least 12,000 of those being freight vehicles.
According to the report, this makes ‘…the road one of the busiest corridors in South East Queensland and one of the most freight intensive routes in Queensland.’
But don’t get too panicked – help is on the way. Work on a long-awaited project is due to kick off this year thanks to $749 million in joint funding Australian and Queensland Governments
There’s lots to like about his project, with lane widening and an extension of the South East Busway from Eight Mile Plains to Springwood.
For more details, check out the project page
Gold Coast Rail Line capacity
Another priority in the report is Gold Coast Rail Line capacity between Kuraby and Beenleigh.
So, what’s the issue at the moment? The existing rail line is subject to a range of constraints, including tight curves that limit speeds (more on that later).
During peak periods, express services between the Gold Coast and Brisbane must share a single track with ‘all stops trains’ between Kuraby and Beenleigh.
This limits the number of services and leads to overcrowding.
The solution: boost rail line capacity to allow for the separation of these express and all stops services to boost frequency and reliability.
About those tight curves mentioned earlier: one such bend is near the Loganlea train station.
That’s one of the reasons why we’re happy our push to have the Loganlea train station moved has come to fruition.
As we’ve previously mentioned, moving the station means this curve can be straightened and capacity boosted.
Corridor preservation for Salisbury to Beaudesert rail connection
This is one of Council’s top priorities (see our page on the topic here) and we’re happy to see it remain listed as a national priority project.
According to IA, Logan is forecast to accommodate an additional 277,300 people by 2041, with many slated to live in south-western areas like Flagstone and Yarrabilba.
Without a rail line linking our south-west (and the Scenic Rim) to Brisbane, roads like the Mt Lindesay Highway will become progressively more congested.
But just like the M1 project listed above, we’re pleased to report there’s been action in this space.
The State and Federal Governments announced joint funding of $20 million late last year to develop a business case for the project.
This is in addition to the $975,000 committed for corridor preservation in last year’s State Budget.