Another section of the Bruce Hwy bypass opens
THE $490 million Cooroy to Curra Section A upgrade is completed and already easing congestion for all motorists travelling the Bruce Hwy south of Gympie.
Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said the upgrade would pay dividends for up to 16,000 motorists who use this stretch of road every day.
"Our $50 billion investment in infrastructure is improving roads right around Australia and this upgrade forms a big part of that commitment,” Mr Chester said.
"The Bruce is the key arterial route in the region, connecting people to Brisbane and as far north as Cairns. This particular upgrade will reduce congestion for local motorists, ensuring they can reach their destinations with a minimum of fuss, while reducing business costs for local freight operators.
"Our investment in roads is changing lives and it is saving lives - but there's always more we can do to improve our road network.”
Queensland Minister for Main Roads and Road Safety Mark Bailey said the upgrade was one of Queensland's highest priority road projects.
"The Bruce Hwy is regarded as one of the most dangerous roads in Australia, and that is why the Queensland Government is partnering with the Australian Government to deliver the $8.5 billion ten-year Bruce Highway Upgrade Program,” Mr Bailey said.
"The Cooroy to Curra Section A project supported more than 430 jobs during construction which was a great boost for the Sunshine Coast and Gympie regions.
"Queensland-based Bielby Holdings, which completed one of the contracts on this project, have now secured work on the Ipswich Motorway Upgrade from Rocklea to Darra Stage 1. This shows how important projects like these are for creating and maintaining jobs in Queensland.
"Importantly, this project will enhance safety and efficiency for local motorists, travellers and heavy vehicles along this section of the Bruce Hwy.”
Federal Member for Wide Bay Llew O'Brien said he was pleased to see the upgrade complete, and said the extensive upgrades currently underway on the local road network would improve driving conditions for motorists.
"This project was the next priority section to be constructed for the Cooroy to Curra project, following completion of Section B in December 2012. By mid-2018 this region will see the completion of the $384 million Section C upgrade,” Mr O'Brien said.
"The completion of Section A means we are one step closer to a safer, more efficient and higher capacity road network that will allow this region to grow. Contract three was the final piece of the puzzle, involving construction of two new northbound lanes and reconstructing the southbound lanes between the Cooroy southern interchange and Cudgerie Drive.
"The project also included a new four-lane divided highway between Cooroy southern interchange and Sankeys Rd at Federal with construction of new bridges over Six Mile Creek.”
"This stretch of the Bruce Hwy was once one of the most deadly sections of the national highway. These projects have made it much safer, but there is more work to be done to improve the Highway from Gympie north through Wide Bay.”
There will be single lane closures on the Bruce Hwy between the Cooroy southern interchange and Cudgerie Drive over the coming weeks to complete minor finishing works, weather permitting.
The Cooroy to Curra Section A project was jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland governments in a 50:50 split.