The $103 million Bruce Highway - Saltwater Creek Upgrade project in Queensland is progressing towards construction with the beginning of design works.
This upgrade to the Bruce Highway is set to improve flood immunity with the construction of new bridges at Saltwater Creek crossing and Deadman’s Gully as well as upgrades to four floodways between Maryborough and Torbanlea.
This is a known problem section of the Bruce Highway with poor flood immunity, and after significant rain, experiences closures that affect passenger and freight movements in central and northern parts of the state.
“The Australian Government has worked with the Queensland Government to identify priority areas, such as this one, where we can reduce the economic and social impacts of flooding,” Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said.
According to Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey, this Bruce Highway upgrade will significantly cut delays that are caused by road closures and it will also improve safety on the highway once works are completed.
“What we’ve seen is regular flood closures on this stretch of highway often resulting in delays anywhere between 3.6 to 19.3 hours a year, which is why we’re taking action.
“We’re committed to delivering important projects like this to keep Queenslanders and our industries connected and minimise the impact of flooding,” Mr Bailey said.
Federal Member for Wide Bay Llew O’Brien said that upgrading this stretch of the Bruce Highway will ensure that the road will not be closed for a long period of time during the wet season - such as during the 31-hour closure in 2013.
“These upgrades will help to keep communities connected and the wheels of our economy turning even in times of flood and natural disaster.
“Improving flood immunity is a key objective of the Australian and Queensland governments’ $12.6 billion Bruce Highway Upgrade program and projects like this strengthen our road network’s resilience,” Mr O’Brien said.
This project is welcomed by both motorists and the local business community with hundreds of jobs anticipated to be created, according to State Member for Maryborough Bruce Saunders.
“While more than 280 direct jobs will be supported over the life of the project, there will also be flow on benefits for local businesses which will boost the region’s economy.
“It’s great to see that improving safety is also a priority of this upgrade, with the design to include wider road shoulders and a painted centre median to better separate traffic, so that local and through traffic can arrive safely at their destinations,” Mr Saunders said.
The design for the Bruce Highway - Saltwater Creek Upgrade is due to be completed in 2020.
This project is jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland Governments with each contributing $82.4 million and $20.6 million respectively.
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