Cunninghams Gap reconstruction ready to start

Department of Home Affairs

Joint media release with the Hon Mark Bailey MP

Reconstruction works at Cunninghams Gap are set to start, with McIlwain Civil Engineering awarded the construction contract.

Federal Minister for Emergency Management, Murray Watt said assistance would be provided through the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).

“The slope above the Cunningham Highway, through Cunninghams Gap, was extensively damaged during Black Summer,” Minister Watt said.

“The unique challenges presented by the complex topography meant significant design work was needed, including geotechnical and structural assessments, before construction works could commence.

“McIlwain Civil Engineering has been awarded the contract to restore lanes to their pre-bushfire functionality and install protective rockfall barriers, with catch fencing, for motorist safety.”

“These reconstruction works show that recovery is a long process, but the Commonwealth and Queensland Governments are committed to supporting communities every step of the way.”

Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the project would be big.

“We will have an 11-metre high rockfall catch fence, with 1.4 kilometres of continuous rockfall protection,” Minister Bailey said.

“What this will do is minimise construction impact to the existing lanes on this key freight route, while rock-scaling works will be undertaken to remove unstable material.

“This is about protecting people travelling through the gap, and reinstate the road to its previous condition.

“As Cunninghams Gap is located within the Main Range National Park and is part of the Gondwana Rainforests World Heritage Area, the project will be carefully managed to ensure the surrounding area is not impacted.”

“We’ve made great progress in getting to this point, and have been involving the community to ensure we deliver the best outcome possible for locals, tourists, and heavy vehicle drivers alike.”

Minister Bailey said community and stakeholder engagement took place in September and October 2021 to support the project’s design.

“No one knows this stretch better than the people who drive it each and every day, which is why community feedback is so important,” he said.

“The Design Phase Community Engagement Summary is now available, along with an animated fly-through of the project’s rockfall protection design that people can have a look at, highlighting just how complex this project is.

“I encourage locals to get involved with the fly-through to understand what we will be delivering.”

Significant temporary traffic changes will be needed during construction for motorist and worker safety.

The community will be informed via VMS, email traffic alerts and on QLD Traffic.

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