Feb 11, 2010

Bruce Highway alignment options announced between Ingham and Cardwell Range

Bruce Highway alignment options announced between Ingham and Cardwell Range

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

February 11 2010

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Anthony Albanese and Main Roads Minister Craig Wallace today announced that three alignment options for the future upgrade of the Bruce Highway between Ingham and the Cardwell Range were now available for public comment.

“The release of these options marks a new stage for the three-year, $5 million federally-funded planning study that commenced in October 2008,” Mr Albanese said.

“The alignment options, all of which are to the west of Ingham, fall within the two ‘zones of interest’ that were publicly released in June 2009.

“Each aim to reduce the duration of flooding closures on this key section of the Bruce Highway,” Mr Albanese said.

Mr Albanese said the study team had conducted exhaustive investigations to refine the zones of interest.

“The study team took into account a wide range of factors, including engineering, hydrological, geotechnical and environmental studies, as well as extensive community engagement and cultural heritage analysis,” he said.

“We now want to hear from the people of north Queensland to hear their opinion on the most suitable alignment.”

Queensland Main Roads Minister Craig Wallace welcomed the release of options and called on the local communities to assist in developing the ultimate alignment.

“Community feedback is very important to the future of the project,” Mr Wallace said.

“We are now ready to begin the final round of stakeholder briefings and consultation and will incorporate feedback into the development process of the final alignment.

“Each of the three alignments has a common start and end point – starting beside the Ingham airport and finishing up by joining with the existing highway at Mt Cudmore Road, at the foot of the Cardwell Range.

“The alignment option closest to the existing Bruce Highway is known as the Central Alignment. It skirts the western edge of Ingham, and follows an alignment just west of the existing highway to Ripple Creek.

“The other two alignment options, known as Western 1 and Western 2, sit within the western zone of interest, further west from the existing highway.”

Mr Wallace said the two western alignments deviated from the Central Alignment, to cross Fairford Road slightly further to the west, before crossing the Herbert River to the west of the junction with Palm Creek.

“After Palm Creek, the western alignments move north to cross Ripple Creek, close to the foot of the ranges adjacent to Gangemis Road,” he said.

“From this point, the western alignments take different routes through to Mt Cudmore Road. Western 1 crosses the flood plain in a straight line, while Western 2 continues to follow the ranges until it rejoins the existing highway.

“The final choice of alignment may be subject to further refinement based on a future detailed design process, however, I encourage everyone in the community to get involved and have their say on the proposed options so the best alignment can be chosen for the community.”

The alignment options will be available for viewing at public displays as well as on the web at www.ebc.net.au and www.tmr.qld.gov.au. Affected landowners and stakeholders will receive letters, and the study team will also be hold another Project Advisory Committee (PAC) meeting.

For more information about the planning study, members of the community can phone 1300 139 824 or email [email protected]