Feds fund highway safety
IN a bid to increase safety along the Bruce Highway, the Federal Government has committed $24 million for upgrades between Caboolture to Curra.
The upgrades are a part of the Federal Government’s $250 million Bruce Highway Safety Package announced this week.
A spokesperson for Federal Minister for Transport, Anthony Albanese, said yesterday tenders had been called and work was expected to start on the Caboolture to Curra section in June.
The work is to include an upgrade of identified ‘black spot’ intersections – at the corner of the Bruce Highway and Wide Bay Highway and the Bruce Highway and Traveston Crossing Road.
Road side hazards will also be cleared between Caboolture and Curra.
From Cooroy to Gympie, a painted centre median island will be created to increase lane separation.
Minister Albanese’s spokesperson said the median strip was needed to combat crashes.
THE spokesperson said the median strip was an immediate measure to help stop head-on crashes while the Gympie by-pass was still under construction.
No overtaking will be allowed over the median strip, which would extend over 45 kilometres, and no extra overtaking lanes will be provided.
“It is an attempt to try and stop cars...(driving) into oncoming traffic lanes,” the spokesperson said.
“There is a long history of head-on traffic accidents (from Cooroy to Curra) ... (the median strip) will try and encourage drivers to have patience and wait for designated overtaking lanes.”
Statistics show the Bruce Highway is used by up to 170,000 vehicles a day.
To improve the safety of those motorists, the Wide Bay Highway turn- offs’ whole layout will be changed.
Visibility and lighting will also be improved with additional signage placed on the intersection’s approaches.
At the Traveston Crossing turn-off resurfacing will be undertaken along with realignment to approaches and vegetation clearing to improve sight lines.
In a statement announcing the funding, the Federal Government said the first round of works will total close to $24 million and fix 35 black spots from Caboolture to Cairns.
The projects were chosen from a “detailed assessment” of where accidents have regularly occurred over the last five years and the nature and cause of each crash.
This safety package is a part of $2.6 billion the Federal Government has set aside to “invest” in the Bruce Highway. The Federal Government called it “one of the longest and most important sections of the national road network”.
The statement said the investment was “more than twice” what previous governments had spent over a similar period of time.
More funding allocations from the Bruce Highway Safety Package will be announced later this year.