Australia’s newest CBD has come alive with music and colour with thousands lining up to be among the first to walk through the gateway to the newly-opened Maroochydore City Centre site.
People’s Day (August 10) celebrated the official opening of the first stage of the city centre, with Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson and Queensland’s Minister for Local Government, Racing and Multicultural Affairs Stirling Hinchliffe performing the ribbon-cutting honours.
The completed Aerodrome Road, First Avenue and Maud Street intersection gateway to Maroochydore City Centre and its opening to the community was just the start of many People’s Day community events.
The $20.38 million upgrades to five intersections along Aerodrome Road and Maud Street were two years in the making and completed in February 2019.
The project included construction of a new four-lane entrance to the new city centre from the Aerodrome Road and First Avenue intersection – providing a critical gateway and transport connection for one of the busiest areas on the Sunshine Coast.
Council contributed $7.78 million and the Palaszczuk Government provided a $12.6 million interest-free loan for the intersection upgrade under its Catalyst Infrastructure Program.
Mr Hinchliffe said the opening of the Aerodrome Road intersection was a significant milestone for the Maroochydore City Centre Priority Development Area and for Sunshine Coast residents and visitors.
“With the Palaszczuk Government co-investing $12.6 million in the project under the state’s Catalyst Infrastructure Program, council has been able to deliver essential infrastructure for this growing region,” he said.
“Development can sometimes be delayed by the lack of critical infrastructure such as roads, water supply, and wastewater or storm water infrastructure.
“This is a clear demonstration of our Government’s commitment to enabling local governments to drive economic and community growth and supporting jobs throughout the state.”
Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson said the intersection upgrades would ensure safe access to the city centre and were an important capacity boost, given the more than 35,000 vehicles that accessed this section of Aerodrome Road on average every day.
“As key entry points to our new Maroochydore City Centre, it’s vital these intersections can cater for additional traffic movements and make it as easy as possible for people to access the new city centre to live, work and do business,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“Importantly, Aerodrome Road will no longer be the single convergence point for all traffic into and out of the busiest part of Maroochydore.
“With the opening of the first stage of the Maroochydore City Centre, drivers will now have an alternative parallel route linking Maud Street to Plaza Parade and Sunshine Plaza.
“This is forecast to reduce peak period travel times along Aerodrome Road by up to 7% and provide some relief to congestion currently experienced at First Avenue.
“The long-term benefits are substantial – but the short-term gains for the region have also been important, with the intersection upgrade delivering 68 construction jobs and 74 professional services jobs.
"These road upgrades will help accommodate the region’s future growth, delivering improved traffic connectivity and road safety in the area, and better access for public transport, new pedestrian paths and a separated cycling facility to encourage more active modes of transport.
“Landscaping and streetscape beautification have also been a priority during these works, with approximately 14,000 shrubs and trees planted, aligning with council’s vision to be the most sustainable region in Australia,” he said.
By 2030, the Maroochydore City Centre is expected to serve a wider catchment of more than two-million people, boasting state-of-the-art technology and commercial, retail, residential and community precincts.
The new roads within the first stage of the Maroochydore City Centre will open to traffic on Monday (August 12).
Construction Fast Facts
- 450 metres of water main works
- 4200 cubic metres of earthworks
- 2000 cubic metres of pavement material
- 9100 square metres of asphalt surfacing
- 555 metres of stormwater drains
- 2100 metres of Energex conduit
- 3400 metres of telecommunications conduit
- 38 light poles
- 1100 metres of lighting conduit
- 1250 metres of signal conduit
- 27 traffic signal poles
- 205 square metres of paved bike path
- 840 square metres of paved footpath
- 1200 metres of kerbing