The Queensland Government has announced $152 million in funding for construction of a new bypass road at Smithfield in Cairns.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the bypass would significantly improve safety and traffic flow for northern beaches residents as well as creating 115 full time jobs during construction.
Ms. Palaszczuk made the announcement at the Smithfield roundabout along with Minister for Main Roads and Road Safety, Mark Bailey, Member for Barron River, Craig Crawford, and Minister Assisting the Premier in North Queensland, Coralee O’Rourke, as part of the Palaszczuk Government’s ‘Governing from Cairns’ week.
“This major investment in Cairns infrastructure will deliver a new 3.8 kilometre-long road running parallel with Captain Cook Highway to provide an alternative route between the McGregor Road intersection and Yorkeys Knob Road intersection,” Ms. Palaszczuk said.
“The new road will cater for current and future traffic demand on Captain Cook Highway by directing through traffic away from the busy roundabouts at Smithfield and Caravonica.
“This will shorten traffic queues and reduce the risk of crashes at the roundabouts.”
Mr. Bailey said traffic modelling indicated the new road would reduce trip times between McGregor Road and Yorkeys Knob Road by about 63 per cent during the morning peak and 75 per cent during the afternoon peak.
“The Smithfield Bypass will alleviate a lot of this congestion and will also see a 20 per cent reduction in forecast crashes as a result.”
The works include construction of a new two-lane bypass road connecting McGregor Road roundabout and Yorkeys Knob Road intersection, construction of a two-lane, two-way overpass at the intersection of Captain Cook Highway and McGregor Road.
Mr. Bailey said the business case for the project had recently been finalised which compared the benefits of constructing the bypass road and carrying out upgrades along the existing alignment.
“The Economic Assessment of the bypass solution, undertaken as part of the business case, found that it delivers $2.61 of benefit for every dollar of investment, which represents outstanding value for money.”