The $16.3 million upgrade of the Harley Street intersection at Kamerunga is open to traffic.
Member for Barron River Craig Crawford said new lanes added to the northern end of the Cairns Western Arterial Road (CWAR) was a preview of what is come, with planning for a future $300 million duplication underway.
“This project duplicated the CWAR between the Kamerunga Road and Harley Street intersections, so I would like to thank locals for their patience while we got the job done,” Mr Crawford said.
“Having extra lanes on about 1.3km of the road has already made a massive difference in terms of reducing travel times for locals in the morning peak.
“TMR reckon it has cut about 10 minutes off the trip for people driving in the morning peak between Captain Cook Highway and Redlynch Connector Road.
“It’s also benefitting bike riders and pedestrians too with new bike lanes and footpaths through that area.
“The Harley Street project was fully funded by savings that came from the duplication of the nearby Bill Fulton Bridge, which was completed in late 2017, so we made sure we kept that money in Cairns, so it could benefit our community.
“The team is also on track to open up the Smithfield Bypass later this year, so we’re seeing excellent progress made on addressing some of those traffic pinch points that locals have been wanting to see action on.”
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the proposed $300 million CWAR upgrade, jointly-funded with the Federal Government, was expected to start in late 2022.
“There is an infrastructure boom underway in Cairns, with major road investments ramping up in the next 12-18 months as part of Queensland’s COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan,” Mr Bailey said.
“We’re doing the planning for the CWAR upgrade now and have been seeking community feedback on the options for the upgrade.
“Construction of the first section, between Lake Placid Road and Captain Cook Highway, is expected to start in late 2022.
“Even with the $164 million Smithfield Bypass being ready to open later this year, there are plenty more works in the pipeline.
“Early works to upgrade intersections between Airport Avenue and James Street as part of the $359 million Cairns Ring Road project will also start later this year.
“Residents on Cairns’ southside aren’t missing out on better roads either with works just wrapping up on the $123 million Bruce Highway upgrade just south of the CBD and work powering ahead on the $481 million Edmonton to Gordonvale upgrade.”
Sixteen full-time jobs were supported by the $16.3 million intersection project, which was fully funded by the Palaszczuk Government.