Mooloolah River Interchange upgrade
The Sunshine Motorway, Brisbane Road and Nicklin Way intersect at the Mooloolah River Interchange, connecting major employment, residential and commercial precincts on the Sunshine Coast.
Traffic demand is exceeding the capacity of the interchange and surrounding road network during peak periods.
This congestion is exacerbated by the conﬁguration of the interchange, which causes some drivers to weave across multiple lanes or take less direct routes to reach their destination.
The conﬁguration and growing number of vehicles using the interchange is reducing average peak period speeds, which were modelled at approximately 36 km/h in 2019, compared with free-ﬂow speeds of approximately 73 km/h. Between 2014 and 2018, 89 incidents were recorded at the intersection and access roads, including one fatality and 33 hospitalisations.
The 2019 Australian Infrastructure Audit estimated that the population of the Sunshine Coast would grow by around 120,000 people between 2016 and 2031, or 33% of its current population.
The scope of the Mooloolah River Interchange proposal includes a range of new connections and upgrades to existing infrastructure to improve the safety, capacity and efficiency of the interchange. It directly supports future planning for the region to establish a north-south transport spine.
The proposal supports Queensland Government strategies and policies to improve connectivity and accessibility on the Sunshine Coast, as set out in The Queensland Plan and ShapingSEQ 2031.
The 2021 South East Queensland Regional Transport Plan recognises planning for upgrades to the interchange as a short-term action to support residential development.
The project will deliver significant benefits to road users, including travel-time savings and lower vehicle operating costs.
The proponent’s stated benefit–cost ratio for delivering the entire scope of the project as a single package is 4.01, with a net present value of $1,876.5 million (7% real discount rate).
The proponent’s preferred approach to delivering the proposal is as a single package. The proponent’s alternative approach is to deliver the proposal in a series of stages (if required).
The proponent’s preferred delivery model for a single package is Design & Construct, and a series of Transport Infrastructure Contract - Construct Only models for staged delivery. We support the proponent’s preference for delivering the proposal as a single package, as staging the proposal delays the significant benefits that would be enabled through the full solution and introduces greater cost risks.
The proponent is developing detailed management plans to mitigate risks associated with environment and cultural heritage areas located in and around the Mooloolah River.
The Australian Government has committed $160 million towards Packages 1 & 2 (50% of the estimated cost of these packages) of the proposal. This will be matched by $160 million from the Queensland Government.
Funding for the remaining packages of the proposal is yet to be secured and will be sought as part of future budget processes.
Refer to Infrastructure Glossary for terms and definitions.