A MAJOR upgrade of an important stretch of the Bruce Highway near Aldershot has been completed one year ahead of schedule.
The Queensland Government said an 11km section of the highway at Saltwater Creek between Maryborough and Torbanlea was upgraded to make it more flood resilient.
A new high-level bridge at Deadmans Gully has been constructed on a new alignment to replace the existing crossing.
Works were completed over the Christmas and New Year period, with speed limits through the area returning to 100km/h.
A total of four floodways north of Saltwater Creek have been upgraded, aiming to reduce the impacts for motorists associated with flood-related highway closures between Maryborough and Torbanlea.
The $103-million project is jointly funded as part of the Bruce Highway Upgrade Program, with the Australia Government contributing $82.41-million and the Queensland Government $20.59-million.
Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Catherine King said there is a one per cent chance of the highway being closed due to flooding in any given year.
“We are investing in infrastructure projects that will deliver an immediate economic boost by reducing the potential for social, economic and safety risks associated with flood-related highway closures.”
Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the early completion of the works was testament to the dedication of the teams on the ground.
“It’s holidaymakers heading up and down the coast who will now reap the safety benefits this upgrade has afforded, as will local residents and workers,” Mr Bailey said.
“This stretch connects to the future location of our Queensland made Train Manufacturing hub in Torbanlea, so it will be getting a workout sure enough.”
Member for Maryborough and Assistant Minister for Regional Roads Bruce Saunders said the upgrades were delivering hope.
“I saw first-hand, as did our community, the effects of flooding cutting off the Bruce Highway.”
The Bruce Highway Upgrade Program is the largest road infrastructure program in Queensland.
It will deliver $13-billion of works over a 15-year period (2013-14 to 2027-28).
It is aimed at improving safety, flood resilience, and capacity along the length and breadth of the highway between Brisbane and Cairns.
The program is jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland governments.
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