Inner City Bypass upgrade

The Inner City Bypass (ICB) upgrade is an initiative of Brisbane City Council and is being delivered by Transurban Queensland. The upgrade will increase capacity, improve travel times and safety for all road users, and improve connectivity to the wider road network.

The upgrade will see the ICB widened from three to four lanes in each direction between Legacy Way and the RNA tunnel, allowing for future growth along the key corridor.

BMD Constructions  was selected as the preferred contractor to design and construct the upgrade. Major works are underway following the start of on-road construction in May 2017. The upgrade is expected to be completed in mid-2018.

Traffic changes and impacts.

Fly-through video

Watch the fly-through video below to find out more about the project. Alternatively, watch the video on Council's YouTube channel.

Read supporting information for this video.

About the project

The ICB is one of Brisbane's most important routes and is integral to the city's economic growth. It is a vital link in the road network with connections to Lutwyche Road, Airport Link Tunnel, Clem Jones Tunnel, Legacy Way tunnel and the soon-to-be-upgraded Kingsford Smith Drive.

The ICB is currently operating at up to 90% capacity, however with the road now carrying more than 105,000 vehicles per weekday, the ICB will exceed capacity by 2021.

The ICB upgrade will:

  • increase capacity for existing and future traffic demands
  • improve travel times and safety for all road users
  • improve connectivity to the wider road network.

The upgrade will deliver a number of bus priority measures to improve public transport options and travel times, making it easier for people travelling to and from the western suburbs.

The upgrade includes:

  • widening the ICB westbound from three to four lanes between the westbound approach to the RNA tunnel and the Legacy Way portal
  • widening the ICB eastbound from three to four lanes between Legacy Way portal and Herston Road exit
  • construction of a new westbound ramp to the ICB from Bowen Bridge Road, open to all vehicles and allowing buses to connect directly to the ICB from the Inner Northern Busway
  • new bus priority measures at the Herston Road exit off the ICB, including a new dedicated bus priority lane.

The upgrade will also improve safety on the ICB by increasing capacity and reducing congestion-related accidents.

You can read the latest project update by downloading the:

Project map

View the project plan in your preferred format:

Bus priority measures

New and improved ICB entry and exit points will reduce travel time for buses and provide opportunities for new bus services to and from the western suburbs using Legacy Way.

The construction of a westbound ramp from Bowen Bridge Road and the Inner Northern Busway onto the ICB will allow bus services to use the Legacy Way tunnel in both directions.

A number of inbound bus services have already been re-routed to take advantage of Legacy Way.

Since the tunnel opened in 2015, bus users have experienced average journey time savings of up to 13 minutes and patronage has also increased by 52% on inbound bus services.

The new westbound on-ramp will provide travel time savings of around 10 minutes for buses heading towards the western suburbs, allowing buses to interchange with the Inner Northern Busway and the planned Brisbane Metro.

Project timing - design and construction 

BMD Constructions was selected as the preferred contractor to design and construct the ICB upgrade.

Initial works on the upgrade began in December 2016. Major construction activities started in early  2017.

The upgrade is expected to be completed mid-2018.

Project benefits

The ICB upgrade will increase capacity and accommodate future growth along this key corridor.

The upgrade will:

  • improve travel times
  • reduce traffic congestion
  • improve public transport facilities
  • improve safety for all road users
  • improve connectivity to Legacy Way and the wider road network.

Impacts during construction

Works will generally take place from 7am-6pm, Monday to Friday and 8am-5pm on Saturdays. Some out-of-hours works will be required on Sundays during the day and at night between 8pm-5am from Sunday to Thursday. These out-of-hours works will be required to maximise safety for motorists and the road workers as well as minimise traffic disruptions. 

Three lanes will be maintained in each direction during peak periods on the ICB with signage and traffic control in place to direct motorists as required. 

Properties in close proximity to the project site may experience construction noise, low levels of vibration and dust. Every effort will be made to minimise disruption to the local community. Council will provide advance notice of construction activities likely to cause disruption, such as night works, noisy works or major access changes. 

As was the case when the ICB was first constructed in 2001, some tree removal will be required to accommodate the upgrade due to limited space available for construction activities. Existing trees will be retained where possible and vegetation removal will be offset with new plantings within the project and surrounding area.

Traffic changes

To enable the installation of new signage gantries over the ICB, all eastbound lanes on the ICB will be closed for up to one hour between 12am and 3am, Wednesday 20 June.

Additional closures will be required in July, with further advance notification provided.

Detour signage and traffic control will be in place as required. Motorists are encouraged to plan ahead and seek alternative routes, where possible.

Clem7 access to the ICB eastbound will remain open.

During this closure, there will be no access to the Clem7 and Airport Link tunnels from the ICB heading eastbound.

Download the:

Speed limits will be reduced on the ICB for the duration of the upgrade to maintain the safety of motorists and construction workers.

Eastbound lanes: 

  • From late May 2017 to mid-2018, the speed limit on the ICB eastbound will be reduced to 60 km/h between the Legacy Way portal at Kelvin Grove and the RNA tunnel.
  • During this period, the RNA tunnel eastbound will also be reduced to 70km/h to provide a consistent speed limit as motorists exit the construction area.

Westbound lanes:

  • From July 2017 to mid-2018, the speed limit on the ICB westbound will be reduced to 60km/h between the RNA tunnel exit and Legacy Way.
  • From early August 2017, the speed limit on approach to, and inside, the westbound RNA tunnel will be reduced to 50km/h.
  • From early August 2017, the westbound approach to the RNA tunnel will be reduced to three lanes. The AirportLink and Clem7 lanes will merge into one lane prior to entering the tunnel. 

Transurban Queensland

Transurban Queensland approached Council in late 2015  with an innovative proposal to deliver the ICB upgrade and provide ongoing incident response, routine maintenance and operational support. This proposal was then assessed under Council's Innovative Proposals Policy.

Council has reached an agreement with Transurban Queensland to fund and deliver the ICB upgrade and to take over responsibility for the ongoing maintenance and operations of the ICB. As part of this agreement, Transurban Queensland will manage the routine maintenance for the ICB and provide ongoing operational and incident response support on the ICB and its surrounding road network.

Transurban currently operates Legacy Way Clem7 and Airport Link. This company's experience in maintaining and operating the road network surrounding the ICB means it is uniquely positioned to assist Council in responding to incidents to help improve traffic flow and safety outcomes on the ICB.

Transurban Queensland's proposal provides benefits to both ICB users and Brisbane's broader traffic network, represents value for money for Brisbane's rate payers and will generate significant savings to Council.

Council's assessment report of Transurban Queensland's Innovative Proposal provides more information on this agreement. Read this report:

More information

For more information about the design and construction of the ICB upgrade:

  • phone the project team on 1800 870 437 during business hours 
  • phone Council on 07 3403 8888 after hours 
  • email the project team
  • write to the project team:
    Inner City Bypass upgrade project
    Brisbane City Council
    GPO Box 1434
    Brisbane Qld 4001
15 June 2018