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Traffic signals to maintain safety on Western Freeway

06 May, 2011

Temporary traffic signals will be installed on the Western Freeway, near the Mt Coot-tha Roundabout, in order to provide a safe exit for construction vehicles from the Legacy Way worksite.

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said Council was getting on with the job of delivering Legacy Way, the 4.6km tolled road tunnel connecting the Western Freeway at Toowong to the Inner City Bypass at Kelvin Grove.

Cr Quirk said the signals would be designed to have minimum impact on Western Freeway traffic though some delays could be expected.

“When the traffic signals begin next month motorists should allow a bit of extra time for their journey in case of any delays but at this stage we expect minimal inconvenience,” he said.

“Legacy Way will reduce congestion for the 80,000 motorists who use the Western Freeway everyday and slash travel times between Jindalee and the Inner City Bypass from 30 minutes to 10.

“While the traffic signals may cause some delay they’ll only be triggered if vehicles are leaving the site and there’ll be at least three minutes between red lights to ensure freeway traffic has ample time to get through.

“The good news is that once tunnelling begins next year all spoil will be transported to the Toowong Quarry via a conveyor belt, not trucks, significantly reducing the impact on the Freeway.”

Cr Quirk said spoil generated by tunnelling works was usually removed by trucks that add a significant amount of additional traffic movements on the road network.

“The solution of transporting spoil from the tunnel via the conveyor belt and storing it in the quarry means that we remove the need for 87,000 truck movements that would otherwise have to exit via the freeway,” he said.

“This is a great outcome for Brisbane motorists and will significantly reduce the impact on the Western Freeway and wider road network, compared to what we’ve seen on other major projects.”

Typically, around 25 vehicles will need to exit the site per hour however numbers will depend on the type of work being undertaken.

Cr Quirk said the decision to install signals came after a comprehensive safety audit determined it to be the safest option for vehicles exiting the site and for the motorists using the freeway.

“The safety of motorists is our highest priority which is why we will follow the recommendations of the safety audit,” he said.

Work on constructing the signals will start from next week. It is expected that the traffic signals will be in operation from early June for about three years. Legacy Way will slash travel times between the western suburbs and the north by up to 66 per cent by 2026. The tunnel is set to open to traffic in 2014.

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