Works have started on a jointly-funded $20.3 million upgrade of the Bruce Highway north of Childers, driving safety along the busy tourist and freight stretch and supporting a further 50 jobs for the region.
Wide centrelines, which already feature on more than half of the 1,677-kilometre Bruce Highway, will be rolled out, while several intersections will receive dedicated turning lanes.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the works were all about getting families, truck drivers and tourists to their destination sooner and safer.
“The upgrade north of Childers will also provide more space for motorists to safely pass stationary vehicles that have pulled over along this section of the Bruce Highway,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
“These projects are part of the Australian Government’s $100 billion, 10-year infrastructure roll-out which means shovels in the ground building the vital Infrastructure people need.”
Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey said Queensland-based Doval Constructions had been appointed to carry out the works, providing much-needed jobs throughout the Wide Bay area.
“Right up and down the Bruce we’ve seen incredible progress on the jointly-funded $12.6 billion Bruce Highway Upgrade Program and this next upgrade shows what can be achieved when we deliver targeted projects that employ local people and turbocharge the economy,” Mr Bailey said.
“Queenslanders continue to manage the health impacts of COVID-19, which means we can get on with better roads for the region, as part of Queensland’s plan for economic recovery and a $1.9 billion pipeline of transport and road projects, supporting 1,000 jobs.
“Unfortunately, we’ve seen 28 more Queenslanders lose their lives on the road so far this year compared to last year. These upgrades will help to improve safety alongside drivers keeping mindful of the fatal five – speed, distraction, drink driving, fatigue and not wearing a seat belt – which are the major causes of accidents on our roads.”
Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt said as part of these upgrade works to the Bruce Highway, dedicated right-turn lanes would be built at the intersections of Old Creek Road (south), Chews Road (north) and Gentle Annie Road to separate through and turning traffic.
“In addition to the dedicated turning lanes, right-turn movements into Chews Road (south) and Pleash Street and out of Old Creek Road (south) will be restricted to improve safety,” Mr Pitt said.
“I encourage motorists travelling in either direction from the north of Childers to Bundaberg to plan ahead, with expected delays of up to 10 minutes while the works are underway.”
The $20.3 million upgrade is jointly funded as part of the $1.01 billion Bruce Highway Safety Package, with the Australian Government contributing $16.2 million and the Queensland Government contributing $4.1 million.