THE New Year brings more safety upgrades on the Bruce Highway, with roadworks now under way on a 4.7-kilometre stretch of highway at Chatsworth, north of Gympie.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the $17.75 million project would improve safety and traffic conditions, creating a free-flowing corridor along the Bruce Highway from Gympie to Curra.
"We are investing to build the Bruce Highway Queensland deserves," Mr McCormack said.
"About 16,000 vehicles travel along this busy section each day, including more than 2,800 heavy vehicles so this is a vital upgrade to make it safer.
"The addition of dedicated turn lanes at various intersections will improve safety for motorists by separating through and turning traffic to reduce the chance of rear-end crashes.
"The project also involves road widening and flattening roadside slopes and installing guard rails to minimise the severity of any run-off-road crashes along this section of the Bruce Highway."
Acting Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Ryan said the work program had been designed to minimise disruption.
"The majority of roadworks will be managed with both lanes open and a reduced speed limit to keep traffic moving," Mr Ryan said.
"Traffic lanes may be limited at times to undertake higher-risk activities, however, every effort will be made to avoid this during peak periods.
"Works will generally be carried out between 6am and 6pm, Monday to Saturday, with the project expected to be completed by late 2019, weather permitting.
"We ask motorists to be patient, drive to the changed conditions and obey all signs while these works are under way.
"Nearby residents should also expect some noise and dust during the works, however every effort will be made to reduce impacts these as much as possible."
Federal Member for Wide Bay Llew O'Brien said these safety upgrades to this important freight and transport link will allow everyone to reach their destination sooner and safer.
"I travel in and around this section of the Bruce Highway almost every day and I am keenly aware of the need for these intersections to be upgraded," Mr O'Brien said
"Safer roads save lives and we are continuing to deliver on our commitment to improve the overall safety of the Bruce Highway by upgrading high-risk safety locations with appropriate treatments.
"While these works will deliver the necessary safety improvements along this section of the highway, they are also expected to support an average of 58 direct jobs over the life of the project."
Safety improvements will be made at the following Bruce Highway intersections:
- Fleming Road intersection: Building a dedicated right-turn lane
- McCullough/Benson roads intersection: Building dedicated right and left-turn lanes
- Robert Road intersection: Building a dedicated right-turn lane
- Vantage Road intersection: Building a dedicated right-turn and left-turn lane, offset from the through lane on the highway, to improve visibility for motorists entering the highway
- Service road intersections: Building dedicated right and left-turn lanes at the access near Irvine Road, closing the most northern access to the service road (near Reynolds Road) and restricting movements at the most southern access to left-out only
- Reynolds/Rammutt Road intersection: Building a dedicated right-turn lane on the highway to Reynolds Road
- Fishermans Pocket Road intersection: Building dedicated right and left-turn lanes
- Fraser Road and Fritz Road intersections: Completing minor modifications to meet current design standards, as part of the road widening works.
- The $17.75 million project forms part of the Bruce Highway Upgrade Program of which $12 million is jointly funded under the $1.04 billion Bruce Highway Safety Package, with the Australian Government contributing $9.6 million and the Queensland Government contributing $2.4 million.
The remaining $5.75 million is funded under the $175 million Blackspots, Rest Areas and Safety Upgrades Package, which is 100 per cent Australian Government funded.