Nine intersections along the Kennedy Highway between Mareeba and Atherton will be upgraded as part of an ongoing program of safety improvements.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce said the $37.5 million project was jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland governments as part of the Targeted Road Safety Works initiative.
“This project will significantly improve road safety in the region, while backing local employment and economic stimulus with 121 jobs set to be supported over the life of the project,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
“This is yet another example of our $1.5 billion nationwide infrastructure stimulus package, announced in June 2020 in response to COVID-19, continuing to help the Australian economy recover from the pandemic by creating jobs and strengthening the transport connections needed to keep moving.”
Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the Palaszczuk Government was committed to improving the safety of Far North Queensland drivers.
“Through the Queensland Government’s sixth record road and transport plan, we’re delivering over $1.7 billion in road and transport infrastructure in the Far North alone,” Mr Bailey said.
“That includes important intersection upgrades like this, which is being funded on the savings from the project.
“The nine intersections will be upgraded to include turning lanes, bike lanes, upgraded lighting and new line marking – making it safer for everyone who uses the road day in, day out.”
Senator for Queensland and Special Envoy for Northern Australia Susan McDonald said the project is already well underway, benefiting the community at a critical time.
“This project, which began in late 2020, is also installing a wide centre line treatment, audio tactile line marking, shoulder widening and safety barriers along 21 kilometres of the Kennedy Highway between Mareeba and Atherton,” Senator McDonald said.
“This road is used by thousands of locals, tourists and freight operations so I look forward to these intersection upgrades also getting underway to support even more jobs, cash flow, and safety outcomes for the community.”
State Member for Cook Cynthia Lui said the nine intersections identified for upgrade included:
- Mines Road/Martin Avenue Connection
- Henry Hannam Drive
- Wilga Street
- Banksia Street
- Wattle Street
- Walkamin Research Station
- Morganbury Road
- Channel Road
- Mapee Road.
“I’m pleased to see works kick off this month to the benefit of locals and tourists alike,” Ms Lui said.
“It’s projects like this that see people get home sooner and safer, while creating a pipeline of jobs in the region at a time when it’s needed most.
“We expect the project to be completed by mid-2022, weather permitting, and I thank locals for their patience while we complete these important works.”
The Australian Government is contributing up to $30 million with the Queensland Government contributing up to $7.5 million.
For up-to-date information on roadworks and other traffic information, call 13 19 40, visit www.qldtraffic.qld.gov.au or download the app.