The multimillion dollar upgrade of the Bruce Highway over the Cardwell Range has achieved another milestone following this week’s traffic switch.
Deputy Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said the opening of the two new lanes will allow motorists to drive over the crest of the range.
“The temporary traffic switch is another milestone in the upgrade of the Cardwell Range section of the Bruce Highway and follows the completion last year of the 180 metre long viaduct and Rungoo rail overpass,” said Mr Albanese.
“The straightening and flattening of this 4 kilometre section of the Highway will deliver safer, faster driving conditions for the 3,200 motorists and truck drivers which use it every day.
“This project is just one of many currently underway along this 1,700 kilometre road as part of this Federal Government’s unprecedented $5.7 billion Bruce Highway capital works program.”
Starting about 15 kilometres north of Ingham, the Cardwell Range Realignment is a jointly funded project, with the Federal Government contributing $128.5 million and Queensland Government a further $69.5 million.
Senator for Queensland Jan McLucas said the traffic switch will enable the crew to continue construction on the eastern face of the cutting, as well as the new upgraded Hinchinbrook Lookout.
“Work on the cutting is expected to be completed in November,” said Senator McLucas.
“Meanwhile, the Hinchinbrook Lookout is being upgraded, and a new access bridge over the highway is being constructed to remove unsafe right turns and provide new access for visitors.
“The Hinchinbrook Lookout will offer short-stay visitor parking and a safe place to enjoy the iconic panoramic view of Hinchinbrook Channel and Island.”
The entire project is on track to be complete by the end of 2013, weather permitting.