THE early works contract for the Bruce Hwy Cooroy to Curra Section C project has been awarded to BMD Constructions Pty Ltd.
The project is part of the Cooroy to Curra Section C (Traveston to Woondum) highway upgrade, and has been fast-tracked due to the pressing need to address safety concerns on that stretch of road.
Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss said that between 2000 and 2010, there were 82 recorded crashes on that section of highway, including 17 hospitalisations and seven fatalities.
"The works will significantly reduce the risk of accidents, particularly crashes that result in severe injuries or fatalities," Mr Truss said
"This includes head-on crashes and crashes that occur when motorists attempt to enter a high-volume, high-speed road such as the Bruce Hwy."
Works will involve widening the existing highway between Woondum and the Six Mile Creek Rest area and installing a raised median to separate opposing directions of traffic.
Dedicated left- and right-turn lanes will be constructed at the Keefton Rd and Six Mile Creek rest area intersections and protected entry lanes will be constructed to provide access to the Gold Nugget Service station.
Works are expected to start in the coming weeks and take about 12 months to complete, weather permitting.
Queensland Minister for Main Roads and Road Safety Mark Bailey said Section C of the Cooroy to Curra stretch of the Bruce Hwy was one of Queensland's most significant road upgrades.
"The Bruce Hwy and Venardos Avenue intersection will also be upgraded. It's a busy intersection that provides access to a large industrial estate," Mr Bailey said.
"The upgrade involves the construction of left- and right-turn lanes into Venardos Avenue to separate through and turning traffic, and to improve visibility for motorists entering the highway.
"As an added bonus, this project will provide a substantial boost to the local economy and support up to 700 direct jobs over the life of the project. It comes at a time when jobs and job security are more important than ever.
"Over the next 12 months motorists can expect changed traffic conditions on the highway, including speed reductions, and I thank motorists and local residents and businesses in advance for their patience while these important works are being undertaken."
Detailed design is nearing completion for the remainder of Section C and construction of the new highway is expected to start next year.
The Australian Government is funding 80% of the total project cost up to $499.4 million, with the Queensland Government providing 20% of the total project cost at $124.9 million.