The first stage of the new Mackay Ring Road, described as a game-changer for freight companies in Queensland, has been finished in Ooralea.
A major infrastructure project, employing 1,200 workers to date, required 159 decks and 68 piles.
Once complete, the Mackay Ring Road will mark the return of Nebo Road to the community and local businesses, with local traffic no longer having to compete with trucks and other heavy vehicles.
Deputy Prime Minister and Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack, said it would enhance the capability of Mackay’s road network and reduce travel times with the removal of 10 sets of traffic signals.
“The 11.3km bypass will provide an alternative route for freight and traffic to improve accessibility of urban sections of the Bruce Highway, which means motorists will reach their destinations sooner and safer,” he said.
Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister, Mark Bailey said the Mackay Ring Road was about creating new opportunities and cutting congestion.
“It’s concrete evidence of the Queensland Government’s $1.3 billion roads and transport budget for the region, with the Walkerston Bypass not too far behind,” he said.
The jointly funded $12.6 billion Bruce Highway Upgrade Program was a welcome addition to Mackay infrastructure according to Federal Member for Dawson, George Christensen.
“Mackay is a thriving, growing and attractive place to live and visit and it is great projects such as this are not only going to help current but future demand,” he said.
“With the completion of the overpass at Ooralea, this project is progressing well and is on track to be completed in late 2020.”
Crews will now start progress on the overpass’ on and off-ramps and upgrades to the Peak Downs Highway between Horse, Jockey and Sextons roads.
The $497 million project is jointly funded, with the Australian Government committing up to $397.9 million and the Queensland Government $99.4 million.
State Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert said the project was on track to be completed by late 2020.
“Primary producers and truckies don’t want to deal with 10 sets of lights, and locals are sick of hearing trucks barrel down during the dead of night,” she said.