Cairns Western Arterial Road capacity

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Cairns Western Arterial Road capacity

Approximately 42,000 vehicles use the busiest sections of the road each day, resulting in heavy congestion and queuing on the undivided sections of the road and at its intersections
Early-stage proposal (Stage 1)
Location
Cairns, Queensland
Geography
Smaller cities and regional centres
Category
Efficient urban transport networks
Problem/Opportunity timeframe
Near term (0-5 years)
Proposed By
Queensland Government
Date added to the IPL
26 February 2021
Cairns Western Arterial Road capacity

Problem

The Cairns Western Arterial Road provides important access for commuter, tourism and freight traffic. It also supports flood resilience in cases when the Captain Cook Highway is flooded. It is recognised as a key strategic corridor in the Queensland Government’s Far North Queensland Regional

Transport Plan (2019) that supports supply chains, regional productivity and access to markets. While 8 km of the 14 km road has divided carriageways, the remaining 6 km is an undivided two-lane road. There is also limited separation between active transport, buses and general traffic, making active transport less attractive to users.

Approximately 42,000 vehicles use the busiest sections of the road each day, resulting in heavy congestion and queuing on the undivided sections of the road and at its intersections.

These issues are expected to worsen over time with Cairn’s growing population and employment, which are forecast to increase by 43% and 52% respectively between 2021 and 2046

Proposal

Potential options to address the proposal include:

•    optimising or upgrading intersections
•    upgrades to the existing road, such as duplication
•    improving bus and active transport options.

Next steps

Proponent to develop potential investment options (Stage 2 of Infrastructure Australia’s Assessment Framework).