Bruce Highway upgrades pushed forward
OVERTAKING lanes between Bowen and Home Hill will now be brought to fruition a year sooner than planned, after it was confirmed the construction works had been fast-tracked.
The Bruce Highway lanes were slated as starting in 2022-23 by the Queensland Transport and Roads Investment Program.
But the State Minister for Transport and Main Roads, Mark Bailey, confirmed construction will now start next year.
Previously Mr Bailey had said seven overtaking lanes were currently in design at West Euri Rd (northbound and southbound), Plain Creek, Armstrong Creek (northbound and southbound) and Arrow Creek (northbound and southbound).
The construction of the overtaking lanes will be a welcome sight for motorists using the stretch of road, who have been "calling for this action", Member for Burdekin Dale Last said.
"This is a definite win for road safety. Drivers have been pushing for these overtaking lanes for years now and I've regularly raised the issue with both the state and federal governments so it's great to get a good result.," he said.
"Realistically the project has been brought forward by twelve months and I say, 'the sooner the better'."
Mr Last said 100 per cent of the funding was secured from the Federal Government last year and, although "the Queensland Government has dragged the chain, at least we now have a start date".
"There is no doubt that roads are one of the main priorities for people in regional Queensland, that's why I pushed hard to have the Haughton Floodplain project brought forward and this project as well," he said.
Mr Bailey said it was "pleasing" to see Mr Last acknowledge the State Government's action to bring forward work to build overtaking lanes between Home Hill and Bowen, but said Bruce Highway funding "doesn't need to be a political football".
"With a record $23b transport and roads budget supporting more than 13,500 regional jobs over the next four years, the Palaszczuk Government is giving Mr Last plenty of good news to share," he said.
"With the progress we're making on Bruce upgrades in his electorate, I hope the Member for Burdekin puts pen to paper more often and joins us in lobbying the Morrison LNP Government to sign up to the Bruce Highway Trust agreement."
"The Bruce Highway Trust proposal seeks to lock in $1 billion for the Bruce Highway every year, so there is a guaranteed supply of joint funding to build more overtaking lanes, turning lanes, upgrade intersections and install safety barriers and wider centre lines.
"The Palaszczuk Government has made a $200 million per year commitment under the Bruce Highway Trust's first Action Plan, and now we need the Morrison Government to agree to those terms and get the deal done."