Works are under way on six new overtaking lanes on the Capricorn Highway which will deliver six new overtaking lanes between Rockhampton and Emerald.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the $19 million project would improve safety and support industry in the region.
“The Capricorn Highway is a nationally significant freight route, connecting the Bruce Highway in the east and the Landsborough Highway in the west,” Mr McCormack said.
“The addition of six overtaking lanes will greatly increase freight efficiency for key regional industries such as mining, agriculture and tourism by reducing travel times while improving safety for everyone using the road.”
Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said Queensland-based business CMC Group would build the new lanes, supporting more than 60 jobs.
“It is part of a $1 billion, 1,000-plus job program by the Queensland Government to build better local roads and adds to major projects already under way like the $75 million highway duplication at Gracemere,” Mr Bailey said.
Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry said the project would reduce travel times.
“When completed, the upgraded Capricorn Highway will see reduced travel times, particularly during the peak traffic times in the morning and afternoon,” Ms Landry said.
“It’s excellent to see bulldozers in the ground, heavy vehicles pushing dirt and plenty of hi-viz vests working to better and safer future for the Capricorn coast.”
Federal Member for Flynn Ken O’Dowd said the new jobs would benefit a wide cross section of the community.
“The jobs will not just assist local businesses, but also families and job seekers,” Mr O’Dowd said.
“Once the project is completed in early 2021, high-risk overtaking manoeuvres on the highway will be far less common – leading to a lower risk of head-on crashes and improved safety.”
State Member for Rockhampton Barry O’Rourke said the section of the highway carried a broad range of vehicles, including many from the mining and agricultural industries and is a key route for tourism in the region.
“Drivers will see three east-bound and three west-bound overtaking lanes, as well as wide centre line treatment and new signage,” Mr O’Rourke said.
“I urge motorists to drive to conditions and follow the instructions of road safety crews.”
The $19 million Capricorn Highway Overtaking Lanes Project is jointly funded, with the Australian Government committing $15.2 million and the Queensland Government contributing $3.8 million.