Cairns Western Arterial Road capacity

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Cairns Western Arterial Road capacity

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EARLY STAGE PROPOSAL
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POTENTIAL INVESTMENT OPTIONS
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INVESTMENT READY PROPOSAL
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PROJECT DELIVERY
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POST COMPLETION REVIEW

Cairns Western Arterial Road capacity

A graphic of the Australian continent with Qld state shaded and small dot representing Cairns.
LOCATION
Cairns, Queensland
GEOGRAPHY
Smaller cities and regional centres
SECTOR
Transport
OUTCOME CATEGORY
Efficient urban transport networks
PROPONENT
Queensland Government
PROBLEM TIMEFRAME
Near term (0-5 years)
DATE ADDED
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.

Early-stage Proposal

Potential options to address the problem  include:

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

The Australian and Queensland Governments have committed $300 million, on a 80:20 funding basis, for upgrade works at the northern end of the road.

Next Steps

Proponent to identify and analyse  options (Stage 2 of Infrastructure Australia’s Assessment Framework).

 

Refer to Infrastructure Glossary for terms and definitions.