Three major milestones have been marked on the over $300 million Mons and Maroochydore interchange upgrade.
In the last month, two upgraded exit ramps and a new, four-lane concrete bridge over the highway have opened to traffic.
Northbound traffic exiting the Bruce Highway to Mons, Chevallum and Forest Glen is being directed onto the new Exit 200.
The old Exit 200 has now closed and drivers are being diverted 1.2 kilometres south to the new exit.
The new Exit 200 connects to a roundabout located at the intersection of Chevallum and Rainforest roads, which is part of a new western service road (Chevallum Road) taking shape.
Another upgraded exit has also opened for southbound traffic accessing Maroochydore Road and Nambour Connection Road from the highway. The upgraded Exit 201 is about 200m north of the old exit ramp.
Both upgraded exits are significantly longer and wider than the old ramps to provide more queuing space for traffic.
Meanwhile, traffic travelling from Maroochydore Road to Nambour Connection Road has been diverted onto the newly-built Maroochydore Road interchange bridge – this temporary diversion will allow works to occur on the existing westbound bridge.
The parapets of the new bridge abstractly depict local references, including the nearby Big Pineapple, a Bunya Nut tree, and local indigenous history.
Synchronised traffic signals have also been installed at the Maroochydore and Nambour Connection Roads roundabout to improve safety and regulate traffic flow.
The signal phasing will be carefully monitored and adjusted over the coming months to ensure optimal safety and efficiency.
The temporary traffic switch will be in place for about three months, weather and construction conditions permitting.
New two-way service roads are also taking shape on the eastern and western sides of the highway for local traffic as part of the upgrade.
This project is jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland governments on an 80:20 basis, with the Australian Government contributing $241 million and the Queensland Government contributing $60.25 million.
The project is expected to be completed in mid-2023, weather and construction conditions permitting).