Douglas Arterial Road


Douglas Arterial Road
Douglas Arterial from Riverside Boulevard Overpass

The Douglas Arterial Road is a two-lane motorway grade road located in Townsville, Queensland. The road is commonly known by locals as either the Ring Road (which is the name the project goes under) or the Douglas Motorway. The road is the first stage of the Townsville Ring Road which is the future National Highway route through Townsville.

The Douglas Arterial Road opened in mid April 2005 and is currently two-laned. Queensland Main Roads Department Projections predict that the traffic volumes on the road will not meet four-lane standards until at least 2015. Local residents dispute that claim, saying that more than 30,000 cars and rising travel on the Douglas Arterial everyday. Main Roads has not organised an official traffic count. At the time of opening, the Main Roads Department predicted that around 16,000 cars travel on the road each day.

The road cuts travelling times between the suburbs of Condon and Douglas (and subsequently the Townsville Hospital and James Cook University which are located in Douglas), by potentially 30 minutes. The old route to Douglas via Riverway Drive and Ross River Rd went through multiple sets of traffic lights, and was, in peak traffic, a 35 minute drive from Condon, but with the Douglas Arterial open, the trip now only takes close to four minutes.[citation needed] However, in practice, due to congestion at the on and off ramps/traffic lights at peak times, the time saving is closer to 15 minutes. The speed limit on the road is 100 km/h.

Future

The Douglas Arterial is planned for duplication tentatively set for completion late 2012. The duplication of the road was subject to traffic levels being adequate. Though however, by 2009 (which is the projected date for the completion of both stages 2 and 3), the road will be officially designated with A1 (National Highway 1) route signage, when duplication is finished it will be designated as the M1.

There has also been some debate about the addition of entry and exit to the Riverside Boulevard overpass. Residents are complaining of a 5 km drive to the nearest entry/exit ramps (at Angus Smith Drive) and driving another 5 km back the direction they came from (via Arterial Road). The Riverside Boulevard entry and exit ramps were added as part of the original concept design for the road, but in 2002, Queensland Main Roads Department decided to get rid of the ramps from the planned development. However, the land was resumed in case demand was legiable.

Stage 2 and 3 are now complete. The road is a single carriageway and has now been designated at the A1, bypassing Townsville. Work for the duplication of Stage 1 of the Douglas Arterial will begin work shortly in early 2010, to be finished late 2012 weather permitting. This will involve four bridge structures, including a duplicate flyover bridge over Ross River. Details of design have yet to be released.

See also


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