New highway section opens
GYMPIE commuters travelling to the Sunshine Coast yesterday got their first taste of what a safer Bruce Highway would look like.
Motorists who travelled the new 2km section of highway between Sankeys Road and Middle Creek at Federal said it felt a lot safer than the old highway.
They said the dual-lane highway was wider with plenty of room between the north and south bound lanes, a feature which would dramatically reduce the number of head-on accidents and save lives on the horror stretch.
Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese said the traffic re-direction represented a major milestone in the delivery of the $613 million project to straighten and widen the Highway between Sankeys Road and Traveston Road.
“The use of the new road will allow work to progress on the erection of bridges over the existing highway as well as Skyring Creek,” Mr Albanese said.
“In its entirety, the upgrade of the Bruce Highway near Gympie will deliver a new 12 kilometre section of duplicated highway.”
The $613 million Cooroy to Curra road project – one of the largest currently underway anywhere in Queensland – is being jointly funded by the Gillard ($488 million) and Bligh ($125 million) Labor governments.
Queensland Main Roads Minister Craig Wallace said planning for the traffic change had focused on the safety of motorists, while minimising disruptions to highway traffic.
“To ensure motorist and road workers’ safety, reduced speed limits, traffic controllers, police and signage will be in place while work is undertaken.
“Lane closures will also be necessary to protect motorists while asphalt is being laid; however, closures will only take place at night to minimise disruptions to road users.
“For safety reasons, the new section of highway will consist of two lanes, north and south bound, until the remainder of this section is complete in 2012.
“Once completed, the new 12 kilometre fully duplicated highway will provide safer driving conditions,” Mr Wallace said.