The Saltwater Creek Upgrade north of Maryborough in Queensland has entered the design phase with the $103 million funded infrastructure project to provide flood immunity on the Bruce Highway.
Floodways between Maryborough and Torbanlea regularly see flood closures that result in delays for freight operators of up to 19.3 hours a year according to the Federal Government.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said new bridges will be built at Saltwater Creek crossing and Deadman's Gully.
“This is a known problem section of the Bruce Highway with poor flood immunity, and after significant rain, experiences closures that affect passenger and freight movements in central and northern parts of the state,” he said.
“The Australian Government has worked with the Queensland Government to identify priority areas, such as this one, where we can reduce the economic and social impacts of flooding,” said McCormack.
Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey said once complete, the upgrade will cut delays caused by road closures and also improve motorist safety.
“We’re committed to delivering important projects like this to keep Queenslanders and our industries connected and minimise the impact of flooding.”
Federal Member for Wide Bay Llew O’Brien said travel times in the wet season would be improved and the project would prevent road closures like the one that affected the area in 2013 which shut down the road for 31 hours.
“These upgrades will help to keep communities connected and the wheels of our economy turning even in times of flood and natural disaster,” he said.
“Improving flood immunity is a key objective of the Australian and Queensland government’s $12.6 billion Bruce Highway Upgrade Program and projects like this strengthen our road network’s resilience."
According to Bruce Saunders, State Member for Maryborough more than 280 jobs will be created to support the life of the project.
"There will also be flow on benefits for local businesses which will boost the region’s economy,” he said.
“It’s great to see that improving safety is also a priority of this upgrade, with the design to include wider road shoulders and a painted centre median to better separate traffic, so that local and through traffic can arrive safely at their destinations.”
The design is expected to be completed by next year.
The Australian Government has committed up to $82.4 million towards the project and the Queensland Government has committed up to $20.6 million.
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