Sep 3, 2009

$613 million Bruce Highway Cooroy to Curra upgrade begins

$613 million Bruce Highway Cooroy to Curra upgrade begins

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

September 3 2009

Anthony Albanese, Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development and Queensland Minister for Main Roads, Craig Wallace have marked the start of construction for the Bruce Highway, Cooroy to Curra Section B upgrade.

The contract for the first stage of bulk earthworks for the Cooroy to Curra Section B upgrade has been awarded to Abigroup Construction, with work commencing today.

Ministers Albanese was on site at Coles Creek today to turn the first sod on the $613 million upgrade.

“I am pleased to be back here today to announce the start of major earthworks less than four months since the Rudd Labor Government invested the funding,” Mr Albanese said.

“The Rudd Labor Government is determined to improve safety on the Bruce Highway, which has crash rates 40 per cent higher than other major roads on the National Network.

“Thirteen people have lost their lives on this particular section of the Cooroy to Curra since July 2002.

“The Cooroy to Curra Section B upgrade is also going to create about 650 direct jobs and a further 1,000 indirect jobs in the regional economy during the global recession.

“That’s why we have invested an additional $488 million – or four-fifths – of this $613 million upgrade, with the Bligh Labor Government providing the remainder.

“It brings the Rudd Labor Government’s funding for the entire Cooroy to Curra section to $688 million and our overall funding for the Bruce to a record $2.6 billion.

“We are supporting jobs today while building the infrastructure that we need for a safer and more productive future,” Mr Albanese said.

Mr Wallace said the upgrade demonstrates the Rudd and Bligh Labor Governments’ commitment to working together to improve road safety meet the transport needs of Queensland.

“This busy stretch of highway currently carries approximately 16,000 vehicles a day and this upgrade will ensure, as volumes continue to rise at five per cent a year, the highway can meet demand,” Mr Wallace said.

“There has been significant preliminary work undertaken to ensure the project is ready to start major construction immediately following the appointment of the bulk earthworks contractor.

“Along with the significant safety benefits that come with a superior dual lane, divided highway, the new corridor will also be built above the Mary River floodplain.”

“The upgrade will also include the construction of eight new bridges over creeks in the area.”

Mr Wallace said the new corridor was located to the east of the existing Bruce Highway, which means works would result in minimal delays to road users.

“I’d like to thank the community for their patience during construction and urge motorists to obey all signage and drive to the changed conditions.”

The upgrade of Section B of the Cooroy to Curra stretch of the Bruce Highway is scheduled for completion in 2012.