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Background

Ripley Valley is one of the largest urban growth areas in Australia. Council will be upgrading Ripley Road and Fischer Road in a staged approach to support this growing community. These upgrades aim to:

  • Support population growth through increased capacity
  • Improve road safety for all users
  • Improve traffic flow to minimise congestion
  • Support future public and active transport needs

This strategic road upgrade project has been split up geographically. In addition, some tasks are required to be completed well before the community will see any construction activities on the ground. These tasks are generally described as “Concept Design”, “Preliminary Design” and “Detailed Design” phases of the project. Once these are completed, the “Construction” phase can begin. For more information on the phases involved in a strategic road project, please see the FAQs section.


Where will this work take place?

Council will be manage the design and construction of the two connecting roads within the Ripley Valley in a staged approach:

  • Stage 1 – Ripley Road (between Cunningham Highway and Monterea Road)
  • Stage 2 – Ripley Road (between Monterea Road and Fischer Road)
  • Stage 3 – Fischer Road (between Nevis Road and Monterea Road)
  • Stage 4 – Ripley Road (between Fischer Road and Centenary Highway)

For information on how the staging was determined please see the FAQs section.


What is involved?

Stages 1, 2 and 3 of this project are currently confirmed for design and construction. Council will upgrade Ripley Road to a four-lane median divided urban road. Upgrades will take place between the Cunningham Highway and Fischer Road (approximately 2.6km inclusive of all intersections).

The upgrade also includes Fischer Road from Nevis Road to Monterea Road. This road will become a two-lane urban road (approximately 750m inclusive of all intersections).

Only the conceptual design of Stage 4 is currently underway. Future design and construction works are to be determined during future budget deliberations.

FAQs

Priority Development Areas (PDAs) are parcels of land within Queensland identified for development to deliver significant benefits to the community. The Minister for Economic Development Queensland (MEDQ) may declare a PDA under the Economic Development Act 2012. EDQ manages development projects in some PDAs, while others, such as the Ripley PDA are delegated to the relevant local government.

Ripley Valley was declared an Urban Development Area (UDA) by the State Government in October 2010 and transitioned to a Priority Development Area (PDA) in 2013. The UDA was initially managed by the Urban Land Development Authority (ULDA) and since transitioned to a PDA in February 2013, it has been managed by Economic Development Queensland (EDQ). In September 2013, EDQ delegated the development assessment function for the PDA to council. However, the state government through EDQ maintain the responsibility for the infrastructure planning and charging regime within the PDA (the DCOP).

The Development Charges and Offset Plan (DCOP) was adopted by EDQ in July 2023. The DCOP is a policy document which is intended to provide guidance to the MEDQ on infrastructure matters and to set out development charges for trunk infrastructure. The infrastructure networks in the PDA are expanded when compared areas outside of a PDA and include stage government facilities, such as land for schools and police stations as well as a provision for public transport.

Conceptual Design - This is the first phase of any strategic road project. The concept design is generally completed in only two dimensions to roughly show the extent of the project. At this phase the project will have significant changes.

Preliminary Design - The preliminary design builds on the concept by taking a two dimensional sketch into 3 dimensions. Ground levels are determined with services located on a full survey. This allows for preliminary hydraulic, traffic, pavement, lighting, environmental, structural and landscaping design to be completed along with the first rounds of construction cost estimates.

Detailed Design - Detailed design finalises the project details and informs the engagement with impacted landowners along with the broader community consultation. This phase informs the project's construction having considered all relevant aspects of the project at a detailed level. A large number of detailed drawings are produced with specifications completed. The construction cost estimate would be finalised and incorporates most risks.

Construction - This is the phase of the project where the community sees the most action on the ground. It includes sequencing, traffic management, earthworks, service relocations and full construction activities based on the detailed design. The project is typically tendered for construction with a major contractor leading the charge.

During construction council acknowledges that the community will be impacted by construction activities. To minimise the impact, traffic management plans, variable messaging signs, road signage and traffic managers will be in place. Additionally, every effort will be made to minimise the impact to the community through carefully thought out construction sequencing.

The staging of this project is based on an external funding agreement that has yet to be finalised with Economic Development Queensland. This sees the first stage of Ripley Road (Cunningham to Monterea) prioritised due to a minimal level of property impacts.

Ripley is a different development to areas such as Springfield in a number of ways, but primarily ownership. The original Springfield development was owned by one developer, coordinating and sequencing development across the large community over an extended period of time. This also means that infrastructure and investment can be delivered in a clearly sequenced way.

Ripley involves many different landowners and developers operating simultaneously. This means that there are multiple developments under construction simultaneously, requiring different infrastructure to be built to connect different locations. This means that there is a less clear sequence to infrastructure investment as development is occurring in many places all at once. This process means that development in Ripley is more challenging to coordinate.

Council is currently in negotiation with the State Government (through Economic Development Queensland) to secure a loan to partially fund the works. The loan will require repayment over time from infrastructure charges collected through development in the valley.

Council is leading the duplication of Ripley Road and Fischer Road. This means that council will have designs for the length of Ripley Road between the Cunningham Highway and Fischer Road and will plan out delivery of works along this corridor over time. It is expected that some of these works will involve relocation of services (for example, electricity infrastructure, telecommunications and storm water infrastructure).

As development occurs, some additional developer works (for example intersection upgrades, some of which have been completed) will be required in order to provide access to developments as they occur. This will be done to avoid waste and disruption where possible.

The previous council made a decision in 2017 that all trunk municipal infrastructure should only be delivered and funded from receipted Ripley PDA Municipal charges or a catalyst funding allocation by Economic Development Queensland (EDQ) until revocation is implemented.

This meant that while council was planning investment in infrastructure across the city to accommodate growth, there was no planned investment in Ripley.

Observing the ongoing challenges in Ripley and the need for leadership in coordinating the delivery of major connecting infrastructure like Ripley Road, this Council changed the previous council decision in January 2022 and has committed to ensuring that upgrades to Ripley Road are planned and delivered, noting the rapid growth in the Priority Development Area, and the fact that the remaining sections of Ripley Road are unlikely to be delivered by any individual development proposal at this time.

Council is currently in negotiation with EDQ to secure a loan to partially fund the works. The loan will require repayment over time from infrastructure charges collected through development in the valley.

As development occurs, financial contributions are collected from the development industry to pay for the upgrade of existing major infrastructure, as well as the development of new infrastructure (called infrastructure charges). This includes the construction of new infrastructure to support the growth in the community such as roads, bridges, parks and open space, water and sewer infrastructure.

When growth occurs in a new area, there is a lot of investment needed in new infrastructure, and all of the collected money is invested into this infrastructure to support the growing community so that infrastructure is in place before the housing is built.

This process often means that the upgrades of existing roads that connect to new areas can lag behind due to the massive investments in bringing services and infrastructure to new areas.

The Service Station development (Ampol/McDonalds complex) was approved by the state government’s Economic Development Queensland (EDQ) in 2013 who envisaged that Rex Hill Drive/ Ripley Road intersection would revert to a left in/left out configuration as development progresses. An advice clause relating to this was incorporated in the approval issued by EDQ for the Service Station development in 2013.

Ripley Road is the major arterial road through the PDA and the changes to the intersection were required to ensure the road remained safe and efficient as traffic increased over time.

It is expected that with the amount of growth on Ripley Road, lots of changes will occur in the future.

For more information on this project, you can reach out to our Stakeholder Engagement Team using the contact details below.

Phone: 3810 6666

Email: capitalprojects@ipswich.qld.gov.au