The beginning of construction on this project coincides with the halfway mark on the construction of the $157 million Bruce Highway upgrade north of Rockhampton - which supports over 400 jobs.
The Capricorn Highway duplication is part of the Northern Australia Roads Program that supports the movement of freight as well as people in northern Australia.
“The Capricorn Highway is Central Queensland’s main east-west freight corridor and is a nationally significant route, so I am pleased to be working closely with the Queensland Government to duplicate it for the benefit of businesses, primary producers and local communities,” Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said.
According to Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey, the project and roads boom has been referred to by businesses as a ‘purple patch’.
“Construction businesses have opened new offices in Rocky because they know there is plenty of work around.
“It’s why the Queensland Government is delivering more than $14.5 billion in road projects across region Queensland, creating more than 13,500 jobs,” Mr Bailey said.
Project map (source: Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development)
Once completed, the upgraded Capricorn Highway will improve safety for motorists who use this route as the need to take high-risk overtaking manoeuvres would be lessened, reducing the risk of head-on collisions.
“Upgrading the Capricorn Highway will support freight connectivity throughout the central and western Queensland regions,” Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz said.
This multi-million dollar project will include duplicating a 5.2-kilometre section of the Capricorn Highway between Rockhampton and Gracemere to four lanes.
“Project works will also include on-road cycling facilities and vital intersection upgrades at McLaughlin Street, as well as a new Fairy Bower Road/Old Capricorn Highway connection,” Federal member for Capricorn Michelle Landry said.
With works now underway on the Capricorn Highway duplication, other vital projects - such as the Rockhampton Ring Road project and other road upgrades between Rocky and Yeppoon - will soon get underway as well.
“Our city injects more than $4.8 billion into Queensland’s economy every year - and roads play a huge role in keeping our businesses and producers moving.
“With more than 5,000 businesses calling our region home and many more setting up shop, the Queensland Government is paving the way for freight and jobs,” Member for Rockhampton Barry O’Rourke said.
For motorist safety, speed restrictions and traffic controls will be placed along the project route as construction activities ramp up.
Late last year, the Fulton Hogan and SMEC joint venture was awarded the contract to deliver this project. You can read more about this news here.
The Capricorn Highway duplication project is jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland Governments, each contributing $59.99 million and $15 million respectively.
The upgrade is due to be completed by early 2021, weather permitting.
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Source: Queensland Government (1, 2); Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development