A contract has been awarded for the $400 million Ipswich Motorway Upgrade from Rocklea to Darra Stage 1, a road used by 85,000 motorists daily.

Brisbane-based Bielby Hull Albem Joint Venture was awarded the contract, as announced by Premier of Queensland Annastacia Palaszczuk, Minister for Main Roads, Road Safety and Ports Mark Bailey and Attorney-General Senator the Hon George Brandis QC.

“I’m pleased to announce Stage 1 of the Ipswich Motorway upgrade between Rocklea and Darra is one step closer to construction,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“The Ipswich Motorway is currently a major source of frustration for more than 85,000 motorists who use this section of the motorway daily, including up to 12,000 trucks.

“This project will not only improve safety and travel times for motorists, it will support 470 direct jobs which is great news for local workers and business.”

Federal Minister for Urban Infrastructure Paul Fletcher said the project was delivering on a commitment to upgrade the Ipswich Motorway.

“More than 12,000 trucks use this section of the Ipswich Motorway daily and are experiencing delays that are currently putting pressure on our freight network, and increasing the risks associated with road accidents,” Mr Fletcher said.

“This major infrastructure project will upgrade the Ipswich Motorway from four to six lanes along a three kilometre stretch between Rocklea and Oxley and delivers on a commitment made by the federal Government.

“The commercial vehicles and local commuters who travel this road on a daily basis will experience improved travel times and motorway capacity into the industrial heart of Brisbane.”

Mr Bailey said the Queensland Government had committed a significant investment of $200 million to deliver this much needed upgrade for South East Queensland.

“The contractors will now start detailed design of the upgrade, and will be onsite to begin works later this year,” Mr Bailey said.

“Focusing on improving the motorway’s flood immunity, work will include constructing higher bridges over the Oxley Creek area, which will see a more reliable, safer motorway through Oxley and Rocklea, improving productivity and benefiting all South East Queenslanders.”

“Importantly, this upgrade will see motorists spending more time at home with their loved ones, not stuck in congestion during their daily commutes.”

Senator Brandis said the project would reduce bottlenecks improving national and local freight movements.

“The eastern end of the Ipswich Motorway will be upgraded between Rocklea and Darra in a staged approach, addressing congestion and delivering value for money,” Senator Brandis said.

Member for Sunnybank Peter Russo welcomed the milestone and said the project was great news for the community.

“Local connectivity for businesses and residents of Rocklea and Oxley will be enhanced with two new service road connections on either side of the motorway at Oxley Creek,” Mr Russo said.

The Ipswich Motorway Upgrade is a jointly funded project with the Australian Government and the Queensland Government each committing $200 million.

Construction is expected to be completed in 2020, weather permitting.

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