Tenders will be called this week for the $515 million Bruce Highway – Haughton River Floodplain project – south of Townsville.
The project has been brought forward nine months ahead of schedule and comes under the Australian Government’s $50 billion infrastructure investment program.
Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said floodproofing works such as these will help keep Queensland’s economy functioning during the wet season.
“The Australian Government is investing up to $412 million in this project – money well spent when it comes to building a safer and more efficient Bruce Highway for everyone,” he said.
“Tenders for the design and construction of the project will be called for in early May, allowing the upgrade to commence construction nine months earlier than planned.”
Queensland Minister for Main Roads, Road Safety and Ports Mark Bailey said the Queensland Government had contributed $103 million to the joint project.
“A 14 kilometre section of the Bruce Highway – approximately 50 kilometres south of Townsville and 30 kilometres north of Ayr will be upgraded, including replacement of the narrow Haughton River Bridge,” Mr Bailey said.
“The upgrade will address one of the worst flooding spots on the Bruce Highway and we are committed to starting work as soon as possible.”
Federal Member for Dawson George Christensen said flooding at the Haughton serverly impacts this main section of thoroughfare for days, with floodwaters sometimes extending five kilometres south and nine kilometres north of the existing Haughton River Bridge.
“It’s essential that roads stay open during flooding so communities stay connected, and the ability to potentially bring this work forward by almost a year is a great win for the people of the Burdekin and Townsville regions,” he said.
“It’s great to see rapid progress being made on the project, with extensive hydrological modelling, geotechnical and environmental investigations done, along with ongoing consultation with landowners.”
Construction is expected to commence mid-2018 and is scheduled for completion mid-2021, weather permitting.