As Christmas draws near, I want to thank you , the residents of Brisbane, for your support this year in helping us lay strong foundations for the future

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk

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Wrapping up a great year, I consider 2013 to be a year where we laid a strong foundations for the success of Brisbane.

Our city’s population continues to grow and so we have been planning and building the infrastructure to make sure we don’t end up in traffic gridlock.

We continue to take a balanced approach to tackling traffic congestion on Brisbane’s road network, with small suburban improvements as well as big scale projects to improve cross-city connectivity.

And in terms of ground-breaking events, it doesn’t get much bigger than Legacy Way. Legacy Way will connect the Western Freeway at Toowong with the ICB at Kelvin Grove, and once open in 2015, it will almost halve peak hour travel times between the Centenary Bridge and the ICB. Motorists will avoid up to seven sets of traffic lights by using the tunnel between Brisbane’s western and inner northern suburbs.

We’ve seen the tunnel boring machines, ‘Joyce’ and ‘Annabell’, break through the ends of the 4.6 kilometre twin tunnels, and recently experienced the first official drive through.

At 65 per cent completion, Legacy Way is well and truly taking shape, with the tunnels excavated in record-breaking time and one tunnel’s road-base now completed.

Another big infrastructure project making great inroads this year is the construction of the $199 million Robinson Road open level crossing in Geebung.

This project will deliver an important east-west connection by providing a new road-over-rail overpass, connecting Robinson Road East and Robinson Road West.

The opening of the overpass will greatly improve safety and reduce traffic congestion following three tragic fatalities since 1992, as well several near misses involving pedestrians and trains. It removes a significant bottleneck between Gympie and Sandgate Roads with delays of up to 15 minutes recorded at peak times.

The bridge support beams for the final span of the road overpass were placed this month, the last piece to form a solid structure over the North Coast Rail line. This puts the project on track to achieve a mid-2014 opening of the road over rail overpass, ahead of the overall completion of the project in late 2014.

The challenge for 2014 will be to ensure we build upon these achievements and take full advantage of future opportunities and I’m up for it.

Of course, we have G20 next year and as I’ve said before, it’s all about the lead-up to it and the great opportunities Brisbane has to highlight itself globally as Australia’s new world city.

We continue to ramp up our ‘Choose Brisbane’ campaign so that we milk all the exposure we can for when Brisbane becomes the centre of the world for a week.

Choose Brisbane is about tourism investment and international education designed to create more jobs in our city.