It took patrons up to an hour to get out of the Brisbane Entertainment Centre's car park after Bruce Springsteen's recent show. Photo: Harrison Saragossi
A 28-year-old plan to build an exit from the Gateway Motorway straight to the Brisbane Entertainment Centre could help solve the access problems to the city's main entertainment venue.
But the state government has ruled that option out.
The original plan for the Boondall Entertainment Centre showed extra exits from the Gateway Motorway for traffic from the south, directly into Melaleuca Drive.
Another option was for the exit for traffic from the Gateway Motorway to go to the next roundabout along Bicentennial Road and then go into the current entrance to Boondall.
However, that would mean traffic would have to go through a section of the Boondall Wetlands which a planning source was now dry and had been impacted by early work to build a football stadium at the site.
The source told Fairfax Media the original planned improvements to the Gateway Motorway were now needed, because of the lengthy delays getting in and out of the BEC.
They said the only existing access to the BEC from the Gateway Motorway was from the roundabout at the Boondall Wetlands.
Here, traffic from the south met traffic from the north and continual bottlenecks resulted on Bicentennial Road.
"So everybody that is coming from the south has to give way to the traffic that has come in from the north," the source said.
Planners had always suggested better access to the BEC from the Gateway Motorway.
"If you go down the motorway to the south, there was supposed to be an off-ramp that came off the motorway, through the scrub and onto Melaleuca Drive firstly," the source said on condition of anonymity.
"And even a second one, closer to the existing roundabout, that ran directly into the roundabout that feeds into the stadium.
"So if you pulled all the traffic coming from the south off the freeway, before it gets to the current roundabout, and going into Melaleuca Drive or the second roundabout, then all the traffic coming from the north would just flow through straight away.
"And the traffic from the south would flow in, with neither of them intersecting."
A spokesman for Transport Minister Scott Emerson said improvements to the Boondall Wetlands roundabout were being made as the Gateway North project began.
"The state and federal governments will deliver a $1.3 million upgrade of the Gateway North, including widening the motorway from four to six lanes from Nudgee to Bracken Ridge and incorporate modifications to the Bicentennial Road interchange, including extended on and off-ramps," the spokesman said.
"Improvements to access for the precinct are a matter for the stadium owners."
Boondall Entertainment Centre is a state-government owned facility that is run by Stadiums Queensland, part of Minister Steve Dickson's Recreation, Sport and Racing portfolio.
Stadiums Queensland did not answer questions about what options for improvement it had requested to the Transport Department to improve traffic access to the BEC.
Mr Emerson's spokesman said there were "no plans" for another access point off the Gateway Motorway to service the facility.
"However the Gateway North project will look at ways to improve traffic flow for the existing on and off ramps at Bicentennial Road," he said.