Freight efficiency and flood immunity along the Capricorn Highway near Rockhampton are set for major improvement with works starting on the replacement of a timber bridge over Valentine Creek, south-west of Gracemere.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the $8.3 million project was jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland governments.
“This investment is about getting people home and goods to market sooner and safer as the Capricorn Highway is Central Queensland’s primary east-west freight corridor and part of Australia’s national freight network,” Mr McCormack said.
Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey said the bridge was built in 1951 and well past its used-by date.
“The new bridge will be able to withstand a one-in-50-year flood and remove weight limitations that impede heavy vehicle access, improving freight connectivity across Queensland,” Mr Bailey said.
Federal Member for Flynn Ken O’Dowd said project works involved replacing the timber bridge with a wider two-lane concrete structure as well as upgrading and widening the Capricorn Highway approaches to the bridge.
“Once the project is completed, major benefits will include improved heavy vehicle access, increased freight efficiency, and improved traffic capacity and safety over Valentine Creek,” Mr O’Dowd said.
State Member for Rockhampton Barry O’Rourke said the project would also support more construction jobs for Rockhampton.
“About 27 direct jobs will be supported over the construction phase of the project, so that is important for our region’s economy,” Mr O’Rourke said.
“While it is sad to see a little bit of local history go, the new structure will create a more reliable and flood resilient crossing over the creek.”
The new bridge is expected to open to traffic mid-December 2019, weather permitting.
The $8.3 million Valentine Creek Bridge project is jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland governments.