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Works underway on $103 million Bruce Highway upgrade

Safety upgrades locked in for major Cairns intersections
The Bruce Highway Cairns Southern Access Corridor.
The Bruce Highway Cairns Southern Access Corridor. Image courtesy of QLD Gov.

Work is ramping up to deliver a $103 million upgrade of the Bruce Highway near Aldershot, Queensland with two new bridges to be built at Saltwater Creek and Deadmans Gully.

The Bruce Highway is Queensland’s major north-south freight and commuter corridor, connecting coastal population centres from Brisbane to Cairns over a length of 1,677km.

The project will focus on three key areas: safety improvements, flood improvements and capacity improvements.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce said the jointly funded $103 million project will upgrade the bridges and flood-ways near Aldershot to reduce the impact of flooding between Maryborough and Torbanlea.

“These upgrades will provide flood immunity for a one-in-100-year flood, keeping traffic flowing and communities and emergency services connected even during times of crisis,” he said.

“This announcement is another example of Llew O’Brien and Keith Pitt’s advocacy delivering for the people of this region, securing funding for the infrastructure they need and deserve.”

Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the project was one of hundreds being delivered under the jointly funded $13 billion Bruce Highway Upgrade Program.

“We’re making excellent progress on the pipeline of projects up and down the Bruce Highway, with 154 projects in delivery, including 48 under construction right now,” Mr Bailey said.

“With the $1 billion Gympie Bypass moving ahead, increased funding locked in to build four lanes for the Tiaro Bypass and now works starting at Saltwater Creek, locals in Gympie and the Wide Bay Region will benefits from significant improvements to the highway.

Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt said the project would improve flood immunity on the Bruce Highway by building the new bridges and upgrading four floodways between Maryborough and Torbanlea.

“This section of the Bruce Highway has poor flood immunity and has faced lengthy closures during significant rainfall events, so this important upgrade will help ensure traffic and freight can keep moving during wet weather,” he said.

“This will strengthen the resilience of our national highway, and ensure that passengers and freight movements can avoid disruptions, which has a significant impact on the local economy and particularly the horticulture and cane industries.

Queensland Assistant Minister for Regional Roads and State Member for Maryborough Bruce Saunders said the Saltwater Creek upgrade would support 286 direct jobs.

“These projects aren’t just making the highway safer, more flood resilient and less congested, they are also supporting our local economy,” he said.

“They mean local jobs and opportunities are being supported not just for construction workers, but also local businesses and suppliers that can sub-contract to large projects like these.”

The project is expected to be completed by late 2023, weather and construction conditions permitting.

The $103 million project is jointly funded with the Australian Government contributing $82.4 million and the Queensland Government funding $20.6 million.

The Bruce Highway Upgrade Program is the largest road infrastructure program currently underway in Queensland, supporting regional economic growth and boosting employment opportunities.



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