UPGRADE FOR SAFETY:P Crash investigators at the scene of a double fatality on the Bruce Highway near Tiaro on Easter Monday.
UPGRADE FOR SAFETY:P Crash investigators at the scene of a double fatality on the Bruce Highway near Tiaro on Easter Monday. Alistair Brightman

$18.36m Bruce Hwy works at Tiaro announced

A MULTI-MILLION dollar improvement of a deadly intersection on the Bruce Hwy near Tiaro will include new and extended overtaking lanes, a widened median, and new turning lanes at intersections, with upgrades scheduled to be completed by late 2017.

Safety works on the Bruce Hwy north of Tiaro are about to start, including new overtaking lanes and widened medians to help reduce the high accident rate along this stretch of highway.

Federal Transport and Infrastructure Minister Darren Chester said improving safety on the Bruce was a key component of the Australian Government's record $50 billion infrastructure investment package.

"These works are being done as part of the Pavement Widening and the Overtaking Lanes packages for the Bruce Highway, improving safety for all drivers. Given the recent tragic road incidents along this stretch of the highway, we are more committed than ever to delivering a safer road network for Queenslanders," Mr Chester said.  

"The ongoing results of the Australian Government's $6.7 billion investment in the highway are there for all to see - from new overtaking lanes between Brisbane and Cairns, to new interchanges, bridges and bypasses. Improving road safety is a goal shared by every government around the country and this investment shows the Australian Government is prepared to take a leading role in saving and changing lives."

Queensland Main Roads and Road Safety Minister Mark Bailey said the $18.36 million upgrades were due to start this week on the Bruce Hwy between Gympie and Maryborough. 

"Four intersections will be upgraded to improve road safety and traffic flow on this section of the Bruce Hwy, which is an important freight and transport link. The upgrades include new and extended overtaking lanes and the construction of a wide centre line treatment designed to reduce head-on collisions," Mr Bailey said.

"The treatment is saving lives in Queensland, and was recognised as a leader in road safety at the 2015 3M-ACRS Diamond Road Safety Awards - an Australia-wide road safety award focusing on innovation and effectiveness to save lives and injuries on road."

Federal Member for Wide Bay Llew O'Brien said the recent spate of tragic and horrific fatal accidents on the Bruce Hwy through Wide Bay showed the Government needed to maintain the momentum through new investments to make the highway as safe as possible.

"While big improvements have been made between Cooroy and Gympie, there is more work to do," Mr O'Brien said.

"The Bruce is a vital transport corridor through Wide Bay connecting Maryborough, Gympie and local communities to Brisbane and beyond. We need to make it safe for all road users to keep traffic, freight and industry moving. As a police officer I've dealt with many fatalities on the highway, and governments, drivers, regulators and vehicle manufacturers all need to play their part to prevent these tragedies.

"These new works include building a new northbound overtaking lane, extending an existing southbound overtaking lane and widening the median to better separate traffic travelling in opposite directions. The additional one-metre separation gives drivers greater opportunity to avoid a crash should they stray out of their lane."

Mr O'Brien said intersections to be upgraded as part of these works included Tahlia Lane (new right-turn lane), Canterwood Rd (new left and right-turn lanes), Petersen Rd (new left and right-turn lanes) and Hoffman Road (new right-turn lane).

"This will improve safety for all road users, and is an important investment in our region's infrastructure. The Bruce Highway is the backbone of the Wide Bay electorate, and it's vital to ensure it is as safe as it possibly can be for families, truckies, tourists and local drivers," he said.

Member for Maryborough Bruce Saunders welcomed news the highway was receiving safety upgrades at multiple locations.

"Local company Sunstate Group Qld, who have offices in the Maryborough Electorate, have been awarded the construction contract which is great news for the local area," Mr Saunders said.

The overtaking lanes works are fully funded by the Australian Government, while the pavement widening works are jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland Governments base on an 80:20 funding share.

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