Stage two of the Kennedy Highway safety upgrade has started, continuing the progress made on the jointly funded $37.5 million project between Mareeba and Atherton.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the project was funded under the Roads Infrastructure Stimulus Package initiative.
“The Kennedy Highway is a strategic link in Queensland’s road network, connecting mining, agriculture and tourism across Far North,” Mr McCormack said.
“Improving road safety and efficiency has far reaching benefits – for industry, holiday makers and local residents.”
Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the Queensland Government had worked with the Australian Government to accelerate funding for this project as part of the Queensland economic recovery.
“We are pressing on with infrastructure projects right across the state, including this second stage of the Kennedy Highway safety upgrades,” he said.
“We have a local company, Robinson Civil Group, delivering this stage of works and an average of 121 jobs are being supported by the project at a time when maintaining jobs has never been more critical.”
Senator for Queensland Susan McDonald said the project will not only help boost Far North Queensland’s economy, but deliver important safety benefits along this key regional route.
“Roads are so important on the Tablelands due to the large amount of farm machinery and trucks carrying livestock and produce,” she said.
“By widening priority sections of the road to an 11-metre seal width, this will create a safe environment for motorists and reduce fatalities and serious injury crashes on this road.
“Improving safety standards is a key priority for the Australian Government, which is why we have invested $500 million in the Targeted Road Safety Works stimulus program, including $120 million specifically reserved for projects in Queensland.”
State Member for Cook Cynthia Lui said the second stage of works would be between Vicary Road, Mareeba and the start of the 80km/h zone into Tolga.
“We welcome this upgrade, with wide centre lines, audio tactile markings, wider shoulders and new safety barriers,” Ms Lui said.
Robinson Civil Group CEO Caytlyn Mead said they looked forward to the opportunity to work with the state government to build better and safer roads.
“Our goal is to support the local community, strengthen local industry, and grow the skilled workforce in regional Far North Queensland,” Ms Mead said.
Temporary traffic changes will be in place while the work is carried out and delays can be expected so motorists should plan their journey accordingly and drive to the conditions.
The Kennedy Highway project is jointly funded, with the Australian Government investing $30 million and the Queensland Government committing $7.5 million.
Construction for stage one of the safety upgrades started in October 2020. The project is expected to be complete by early 2022, weather permitting.