Thursday, 1 September 2022

New flood-proof bridges open on Bruce Highway

Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt and Federal Member for Wide Bay Llew O’Brien have welcomed the opening of the new flood-proof Saltwater Creek Bridge and Deadmans Gully Bridge on the Bruce Highway.

Mr Pitt said ensuring the highway was accessible in times of natural disaster or adverse weather was important for local residents, tourists and business.

“It’s why the former Coalition Government invested $82.4 million of the $103 million upgrade at Saltwater Creek and four floodways between Maryborough and Torbanlea,” he said.

“While these new bridges are only part of this significant upgrade, it will ensure that passengers and freight movements can avoid disruptions, from people visiting our fantastic region, to locals trying to get home, to freight companies delivering our local produce.

“What is unfortunate is the Queensland State Labor Government continuing to play politics by not inviting either myself or Llew to the opening of what is meant to be a joint Federal-State project.”

Mr O’Brien said when completed the 11-kilometre project will enable faster and safer travel along the Bruce Highway between Maryborough and Torbanlea.

“The new works include three overtaking lanes with a total length of 3.5 kilometres. The northbound overtaking lanes will be located 200 metres south of Colton Road, and another 1.3 kilometres north of Warrah Road. A southbound overtaking lane will be located 2 kilometres south of Top Road,” Mr O’Brien said.

“These overtaking lanes are in addition to the $20.1 million northbound and southbound overtaking lanes at Tinana which were fully funded by the former Liberal and Nationals Government.

“The former Coalition Government committed more than $1.1 billion to upgrade the Bruce Highway through Wide Bay, including $800 million for the 26-kilometre Gympie bypass which is expected to open mid-2024, and $269 million for the four lane Tiaro bypass.

“We need to get these projects done as soon as possible and start planning to four lane the entire corridor from Curra to Tiaro and Tiaro to Maryborough,” Mr O’Brien said.

The $103 million Maryborough – Torbanlea project is jointly funded with the Australian Government contributing $82.4 million and the Queensland Government funding $20.6 million.

While the new bridges are open to traffic the entire project is expected to be completed by late 2023, weather and construction conditions permitting.  Traffic management and lower speed limits are currently in place along the whole section as construction progresses.

The Bruce Highway Upgrade Program (BHUP) is the largest road infrastructure program currently underway in Queensland, supporting regional economic growth and boosting employment opportunities.

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