QLD’s $212M Cunningham Highway restoration moves to next step

Cunningham Highway. Image courtesy of TMR.

The Queensland Government’s Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) is seeking community feedback prior to start of restorative works on parts of the Cunningham Highway between Ipswich and north of Warwick.

Parts of the highway at Cunninghams Gap received extensive damage during the Southern Queensland bushfires in late 2019 and have since been held with rockfall barriers and catch fencing to protect safety of motorists.

Detailed design is now underway for the reconstruction project, which will be funded through $212.5 million jointly funded by the Commonwealth and Queensland Governments under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA). Construction is planned to start in early 2022.

With the project located in an important freight route, Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the community and freight industry partners would be asked for feedback on how they travel through Cunninghams Gap to minimise disruptions during construction.

“The Cunningham Highway is an important freight corridor, so we need understand how the industry use this section of highway,” Mr Bailey said.

“But most importantly, we want to know how the community use the road and what they value as part of the reconstruction.

“Information about frequency of trips and vehicle size will help ensure construction impacts are kept to a minimum, with an online survey now open.”

Minister for Emergency Management and National Recovery and Resilience Senator Bridget McKenzie said lanes would be restored on the eastern side of Cunninghams Gap and rockfall barriers with catch fencing installed for motorist safety.

“The Black Summer bushfires caused significant slope damage at Cunninghams Gap. A temporary steel barrier for slope safety was initially installed to reopen the road and since then significant geotechnical and structural assessment activity has been undertaken,” Minister McKenzie said.

Queensland Assistant Regional Roads Minister Bruce Saunders said reconstruction work would be carried out in two stages.

“Stage one will kick off with rockface stabilisation above the Cunningham Highway before stage two begins, involving road reconstruction,” he said.

Cunninghams Gap reconstruction works are jointly funded by the Commonwealth and Queensland Governments under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).

The community is invited to complete an online survey at https://www.yoursay-projects.tmr.qld.gov.au/cunninghamsgap , which will be open until the end of October.

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