Work has begun to deliver a safer Bruce Highway between Townsville and Ingham, thanks to a $22.1 million package of safety upgrades now underway at Bluewater, 30 kilometres north of Townsville on the Bruce Highway.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the safety works were part of the Federal Government’s commitment to improve safety and efficiency for all road users along the entire length of the Bruce Highway between Brisbane and Cairns.
“Works will include a new $6.1 million southbound overtaking lane between Two Mile Creek and Sleeper Log Creek for motorists travelling between Ingham and Townsville, which are fully funded under the Federal Government’s Bruce Highway Overtaking Lanes Package,” Mr McCormack said.
“Creating safer overtaking opportunities is part of the Government’s strategy to save lives and reduce road trauma on the Bruce Highway.
“A further $16 million of safety works at Bluewater will be funded under the Bruce Highway Safety Package and will include road widening, installation of wide centre line treatments and safety improvements at Bluewater Station Road, Forestry Road and Toolakea Beach Road intersections.
“These safety works, which are jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland governments on an 80:20 basis, will deliver vital visibility improvements and better access for communities.”
“We all know that road accidents have a devastating impact on members of our community, so the Federal Government is committed to working with state governments to reduce head-on collisions on our roads through targeted investments such as these.”
Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said in addition to driving safety between Townsville and Bluewater, the project would also support more than 60 jobs during construction.
“The Bruce Highway is one of our Queensland’s most important transport corridors, which is why we’re delivering a $12.6 billion program together with the Australian Government to increase capacity and improve safety,” Mr Bailey said.
“This is a win for local industry and the thousands of motorists who use this stretch every day, as well as a boost for the region’s economy with support for valuable construction jobs.”
Member for Townsville Scott Stewart said the project would deliver several kilometres of widened road and centre line treatments, along with safety improvements at a number of key intersections for the local community.
“This section of the Bruce has had a significant crash history, with 14 reported crashes in the past five years – two of which resulted in fatalities and another 10 in hospitalisation,” Mr Stewart said.
“The reconfiguration of the intersections at Forestry Road and Toolakea Beach Road, as well as at Feldt Street and Bluewater Drive, will improve safety for locals in the northern beaches and ease traffic congestion on the Bruce Highway.”
Works are expected to be completed by late 2020, weather permitting.
The $6.1 million overtaking lane is fully funded under the Federal Government’s $275 million Bruce Highway Overtaking Lanes Package. The $16 million safety works are jointly funded under the $1.04 billion Bruce Highway Safety Package with the Federal Government funding $831.3 million and the Queensland Government contributing $207.8 million.