Milestone month for $164m Smithfield Bypass project; hundreds of local jobs

JOINT STATEMENT

Minister Bailey, Minister Crawford and Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk with crews at the Smithfield Bypass project

The Palaszczuk Government’s $164 million Smithfield Bypass project is officially ahead of schedule thanks to 500 local workers inducted on-site and more than 90 local suppliers.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey today joined Member for Barron River Craig Crawford to inspect progress and praise the efforts of local crews and businesses who completed a number of major milestones this month.

“The global pandemic has impacted economies around the world but because Queenslanders have rallied to fight COVID-19, we’re able to get on with the job of delivering Queensland’s economic plan,” the Premier said.

“At the heart of that plan is a $50 billion guarantee to invest in large infrastructure projects that will support and sustain jobs for Queenslanders now and for years to come.

“We’re already doing that here in the Far North with more than $1.45 billion in projects including the Smithfield Bypass supporting more than 1000 jobs.

“It’s projects like the Smithfield Bypass that have continued to provide vital local jobs through the pandemic and it’s great to see workers already clocking up more than 150,000 hours getting this project off the ground.”

Mr Crawford said in total, 95 per cent of people employed on the project have been from Cairns and the far north.

“This is a project being built by the far north for the far north to bust congestion, make our roads safer and support our business hubs,” Mr Crawford said

“In Smithfield we’re building the bypass, on the Cape we’re sealing more than $230 million of dirt roads, in the CBD we’re getting on with the $104 million Kate to Aumuller streets upgrade and down south we’re creating 466 jobs thanks to a $480 million Bruce Highway upgrade.”

Mr Crawford said in just the last month all deck units for the new Avondale Creek Bridge had been installed alongside completed base slabs for two culverts and the relocation of all services along a 1.1-kilometre section of the bypass.

“We’ve also moved into the next stage of the Caravonica roundabout overhaul and have completed extensive bridge piling works at the McGregor Road roundabout for a future overpass,” he said.

“The new road will improve traffic conditions for the Cairns Northern Beaches by reducing congestion on the section of the Captain Cook Highway (CCH) between McGregor Road and the intersection of CCH and the Cairns Western Arterial Road.”

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said there had never been more road projects happening in the far north than under the Palaszczuk Labor Government.

“Wherever you drive, far north locals are seeing bitumen rollers, trucks, traffic controllers and road builders delivering better roads across the region,” Mr Bailey said.

“There’s a pipeline of projects that means we’ll see jobs in construction for the far north for years to come, including the $12.45 million duplication planning project for the CWAR between Redlynch Connection Road and the Captain Cook Highway, the $359 million Cairns Ring Road (Captain Cook Highway upgrade between the CBD out to Smithfield), and another $30 million on the Kuranda Range.”

Works are expected to be completed on the Smithfield Bypass late 2021, weather permitting.

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