NEXT STEP: The next step in the Bruce Highway upgrade past Gympie is not the only major road project coming up for Gympie Region.
NEXT STEP: The next step in the Bruce Highway upgrade past Gympie is not the only major road project coming up for Gympie Region. Philippe Coquerand

STATE BUDGET: Green light for billion-dollar-plus projects

A START on real construction on the final and longest stretch of Gympie's Bruce Highway by-pass is not the only major job on Gympie Region's state budget schedule.

Pre-construction work is now underway on the by-pass, which has already received major funding commitments from the federal and state governments.

Similarly, the next step for the long-discussed Coondoo Creek bridge replacement project on Tin Can Bay Rd is due to move into the serious construction phase soon, with initial route clearing finished and machinery arriving on site.

And the Bruce Highway-Wide Bay Highway intersection at Bells Bridge is due to move into the advanced design phase, after assessment of a possible roundabout solution to the increasingly notorious and economically significant intersection, which links Gympie Region with the South Burnett.

The by-pass, officially Section D of the Cooroy-to Curra project, is through the 'detailed design' stage and has received funding commitments totalling $1 billion ($800 million from the federal government and $200 million from the state).

Pre-construction activities are well underway to prepare for the arrival of the big earthmoving machines, following the removal of dwellings and structures that are directly within the new highway corridor, along with negotiations on the shifting, where necessary, of public utility asssets, including electricity and phone lines.

That process is expected to be complete within a few weeks and a final design and project timetable are due for public release soon.

At last announcement, funding talks were still underway between the state and federal governments on the $14.8 million Coondoo Bridge replacement project, as the current timber bridge approaches the end of its useful life.

The project, a vital link between Gympie and the Cooloola Coast, has already received $5 million from the federal government's Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program.

Queensland's Transport and Main Roads Department has announced its expectations that a roundabout will combine with the Bruce Highway's by-pass to greatly improve safety at the intersection.

Gympie Times


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