UPPER ROSS ARTERIAL ROAD
Riverway Drive is the principal route connecting Townsville’s Upper Ross community with the
greater city area and road network, providing access to major shopping nodes at Thuringowa
Central and Aitkenvale.
Sustained population growth in the Upper Ross is leading to increasing traffic congestion along
Riverway Drive, restricting access and undermining vehicle and pedestrian safety along this heavily
used arterial road.
Townsville City Council is proposing a two-stage upgrade strategy to relieve pressure along
Riverway Drive and lay the platform for a long term solution to safe transport infrastructure for
residents of the Upper Ross.
The first stage is to upgrade and extend Beck Drive, which is currently underutilised as an arterial
link for the Upper Ross. This extension will help relieve pressure along Riverway Drive.
The second stage is to undertake the major duplication and upgrade of Riverway Drive, creating a
new four lane thoroughfare for the Upper Ross.
The Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads has submitted a funding application to
Queensland Treasury for the duplication and upgrade of Riverway Drive. Townsville City Council
requests that the Queensland Government approve this application and endorse a contribution of
$55.7 million to upgrade Beck and Riverway Drives and ensure safe, long term transport routes for
one of Townsville’s fastest growing family areas.
STAGE ONE –
STAGE TWO –
ACCESS FOR THE
TOWNSVILLE’S UPPER ROSS COMMUNITY
UNDER TRANSPORT STRESS
The greater Upper Ross area lies west of the Ross River and includes the high-growth suburbs of
Kelso, Rasmussen and Condon.
There has been significant investment in recreational and cultural infrastructure in the area, with the
new Upper Ross Community Hub recently opened at Apex Park.
Riverway Drive is the arterial road connecting the Upper Ross to Townsville’s broader road and
motorway network. It is a primary means of departure for residents travelling to destinations
throughout Townsville, including the shopping precincts of Thuringowa Central and Aitkenvale, as
well as the Townsville Hospital, James Cook University and CBD. It also provides direct access to
a range of adjacent commercial, residential and community properties facing the length of Riverway
Drive throughout Kelso and Rasmussen.
Because of ongoing population growth and residential development, Riverway Drive is nearing
capacity – particularly along the section between Gollogly and Allambie Lanes. Severe congestion
is frequent at several intersections, creating long traffic delays and heightening the risk of accidents.
Without a long term upgrade program, Riverway Drive will be unable to operate safely into the future.
Beck Drive is a sub-arterial road providing a secondary access route for residents of the Upper Ross
suburbs of Condon and Rasmussen.
At present, Beck Drive is underutilised by local commuters, placing even more traffic pressures upon
Riverway Drive. One of the main reasons for under use of Beck Drive is that the road does not fully
extend throughout the whole Upper Ross area, with residents of Kelso, in particular, having no direct
access to Beck Drive.
Two functional and high quality arterial links, therefore, are required for the Upper Ross to cater fully
for a future traffic demand that will reach almost 55,000 vehicle trips per day by 2030.
This is why Townsville City Council is proposing a two-stage upgrade solution that features the initial
extension of Beck Drive, followed by the upgrade of Riverway Drive and its duplication between
Gollogly and Allambie Lanes.
The proposed upgrade solution is vital to easing traffic congestion, improving safey and supporting
the future growth of the greater Upper Ross area.
HERVEY RANGE ROAD
THE RING ROAD
RO SS RIVER
STAGE ONE – EXTENDING BECK DRIVE
At present, the distribution of traffic between the Beck Drive and Riverway Drive corridors is highly
Recent surveys suggest that over 82% of commuters use Riverway Drive during the morning and
nearly 90% during afternoon peaks (source DTMR, AECOM), even though Beck Drive represents a
more efficient route option for a significant proportion of these commuters.
The future upgrade of Riverway Drive, therefore, is contingent upon extending Beck Drive beyond
Lane and through
to the suburb of Kelso.
If this does not occur,
the timing and extent
of upgrades required to maintain the capacity of Riverway Drive will magnify.
The best means of extending Beck Drive into the suburb of Kelso is to utilise an existing road
corridor for Shetland Place, which currently lacks a formed road. Constructing a new two lane road
through this corridor would create the new Beck Road extension.
Specifically the proposed extension of Beck Drive into the Shetland Place road corridor includes:
• construction of 800 metre length of two-lane sealed road formation, including table drains and
minor cross drainage;
• installation of large culverts in the existing primary open drainage system that passes through
the southern end of the extension;
• construction of a large roundabout (or other suitable intersection treatment) to suit the offset
intersections of Allambie Lane, Beck Drive and Shetland Place, including approach deviations
and tapers; and
• extension of the existing large box culverts in the Allambie Lane corridor to cater for the new
Allambie Lane, Beck Drive and Shetland Place intersection.
It has been estimated that a Beck Drive extension through the Shetland Place corridor would, by
2030, increase traffic usage along Beck Drive by more than 30% of current volumes.
ROSS RIVER DAM
HERVEY RANGE ROAD
THE RING ROAD
RO SS RIVER
STAGE TWO – UPGRADING RIVERWAY DRIVE
In conjunction with Beck Road extension, the upgrade work proposed for Riverway Drive would
consist principally of its duplication, from two to four lanes, along a 2.9 kilometre stretch between
Gollogly and Allambie Lanes.
In detail, the proposed work includes:
• duplication of Riverway Drive between Gollogly Lane and Allambie Lane;
WEST TO CHARTERS TOWERS / MT ISA
• construction of one-way, sealed service road between Dollview Avenue and Santal Drive to
service residential properties, improve safety and provide controlled access to Riverway Drive;
• signalised 4 way intersection upgrade at Santal Drive/Loam Island with pedestrian crossing
phases and improved rowing club access;
• upgrade at Sonia Street intersection to include left and right hand deceleration / turning lanes;
• upgrade to the signalised Allambie intersection, including additional lane, raised median and
• construction of a 3 metre shared pathway extending the length of the duplication by Ross River;
• intersection lighting and route lighting for the full length of the duplication; and
• bus stop provisions at 4 locations along the new duplicated road section - these 4 locations
would replace existing bus stops.
ROSS RIVER DAM
NEW TRANSPORT CONNECTIONS FOR
The Upper Ross community is home to some of Townsville’s major growth suburbs, such as Kelso and Rasmussen, which are
characterised by a relatively high proportion of young families.
Several residential developments are currently planned or undergoing expansion. These include Devine River Parks development in
Kelso and the Santal Park development in Rasmussen.
In Kelso, Rasmussen and Condon, the number of dwellings is estimated to increase from around 8,000 to 9,300 dwellings by 2021
and to 10,700 dwellings in 2031.
The current Upper Ross population will grow from 12,400 residents to 14,200 residents in 2021 and to 16,000 residents in 2031.
Without the Beck and Riverway Drive upgrade program, increasing transport congestion will erode the safety, amenity and quality
of life in one of the city’s largest family areas.
SAFE, RELIABLE ACCESS
FOR THE UPPER ROSS
Riverway Drive is already experiencing major congestion, particularly during peak hour. As traffic
volumes continue to increase, the safety and access difficulties along Riverway Drive will become
even more acute over the next decade without an arterial road upgrade strategy.
Analysis suggests that, by 2015, more than 15,000 and 24,000 weekday car trips will be generated
from the suburbs of Rasmussen and Kelso respectively. By 2030, these numbers will increase to
more than 17,000 and 26,000 respectively.
The Upper Ross area as a whole is likely to generate more than 49,000 weekday trips by 2015 and
almost 55,000 weekday trips by 2030 (source DTMR, AECOM).
Growing safety concerns along Riverway Drive arise particularly at intersection points and through the
entry and exiting of properties lying directly adjacent to the current dual lane roadway.
As well as being a major arterial road, Riverway Drive is an important community thoroughfare, with
families, pedestrians and cyclists regularly traversing the roadway to access picnic, sporting and
recreation facilities along the banks of Ross River and its parklands. This heightens the risk to public
safety. Recent accident surveys reveal a relatively high proportion of collisions between cars and
bicycles and between cars and pedestrians along Riverway Drive.
Ensuring safe access and reliable transport linkages will be pivotal to the long term development of
the Upper Ross community.
The diagram below shows the likely projected increases in travel demand and number of average
external daily car trips genereated in the area between 2008 and 2030.
Kelso, Rasmussen and South Condon Projected AADT
Source: DTMR, AECOM
Townsville City Council estimates that the Beck Road extension will cost $5.7 million.
The Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads has estimated that the upgrade and
duplication of Riverway Drive will cost $50 million (based on escalation of 2010 estimate of $44
million). It is also anticipated that developer contributions will also provide a significant proportion
of the $50 million funding required for the Riverway Drive Upgrade.
Upper Ross Arterial Road Upgrade
Beck Drive Extension $5,700,000 (2012)
Riverway Drive Upgrade $50,000,000 (2012)*
Project Total $55,700,000
* The Riverway Drive Upgrade may involve additional costs relating to the possible relocation of trunk water mains. However,
the requirement for such relocation will not be confirmed until preliminary project design is completed and has been omitted
from the project’s current scope.
Townsville City Council proposes that construction of the Beck Drive Extension and Riverway Drive
Upgrade be undertaken by 2015.
The Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads has recently submitted a funding
application to Queensland Treasury for the duplication and upgrade of Riverway Drive.
Townsville City Council requests that the Queensland Government approve this application and
endorse a contribution of $55.7 million to upgrade Beck and Riverway Drives and ensure safe, long
term transport routes for one of Townsville’s fastest growing family areas.
For clarification of details or further information please contact:
Economic Development and Strategic Projects
Townsville City Council
P 07 4727 9401
F 07 4727 9053
M 0428 730 626