Wide Bay Hwy turn-off will cost $14m to upgrade
THE State Labor Government must immediately commit funding in the June State Budget to ensure the upgrade of the notorious Bruce Hwy intersection with the Wide Bay Hwy north of Gympie.
Gympie MP Tony Perrett said it was now up to the State Government to commit its share of funding to upgrading the turn-off at Bell's Bridge.
"I welcome the commitment by the Federal Government in last night's Budget of $11.2 million for fixing up the infamous intersection,” Mr Perrett said.
"I have been pushing the State Government to make a commitment to this much needed road safety project and it is now time for the State Government to contribute its fair share.
"Under the usual funding arrangements the Federal Government is responsible for 80% of projects such as this and the State Government commits 20%.
"On that basis the State Government needs to commit $2.8 million of the estimated total cost of $14 million for the project.
"In September last year I asked the Minister for Main Roads in a Question on Notice, and wrote to him asking for details on whether the State Government had any plans to improve the road safety aspects of the intersection prior to the completion of the Stage D Cooroy to Curra Gympie bypass upgrade of the Bruce Hwy.
"Well now the Federal Government has committed the major portion it is time the minister stepped forward with the funds to complete the project.
"The importance of a safe, reliable, and user friendly road network cannot be underestimated.
"The $2 million commitment to upgrade the Cooloola Noosa coastal link road is very much welcome, as well as a further $1,880,961 to Gympie through the Roads to Recovery program and $750,000 under the Black Spot Program to install a single lane roundabout at the intersection of Station Rd and Cogan St in Gympie.
"Addressing these priorities means that our road network meets both expectations of locals and will prepare the region for future population growth and open it up to more economic opportunities.
"This is about smart planning, flood proofing, and making the entire road network safer and improving access for locals, workers, businesses and tourists.
"That is why everything from upgrading and planning for bridges, resealing and upgrade programmes, creating a duplicate route along the coast, improving safety and continuing the LNP's strong commitment on upgrading the Bruce Highway should be the focus in our region,” he said.