Jul 15, 2011

Building a Better, Safer Bruce: More upgrades on the way

Building a Better, Safer Bruce: More upgrades on the way

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

Minister for Infrastructure & Transport

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

15 July 2011

Works on further improvements worth nearly $12 million on the Bruce between Ingham and Cairns has reached the half way mark – underscoring Labor’s long term commitment to making this vital piece infrastructure a better, safer and less flood prone highway.

Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese said these safety upgrades are the latest instalment in the unprecedented capital works program now well underway up and down the Queensland coast, with hundreds of workers onsite upgrading the Bruce Highway.

"Once these latest projects are completed, the 5,800 motorists and truck drivers which use this stretch of road everyday can expect smoother, safer driving conditions," said Mr Albanese.

"Under Labor, Federal investment in this road now stands at an unprecedented $2.8 billion over seven years. This compares to the former Howard Government’s record of just $1.2 billion over twelve long years.

"Nonetheless, even with this much greater level of investment – over twice as much in about half the time – we have always said it would take more than one or two parliamentary terms to fix the years of neglect."

The upgrades between Ingham and Cairns are fully Federally-funded.

Queensland Main Roads Minister Craig Wallace said the pavements on four kilometres of the Bruce Highway around the Silkwood-Japoon Road intersection are now being reconstructed to provide a smoother surface.

"I’m pleased to say works are now well underway to widen, strengthen and re-surface the road with asphalt at a number of locations further north between Innisfail and Cairns," said Mr Wallace.

"As always the safety of road workers is paramount and the delivery of these projects is occurring under changed traffic conditions. So in the months ahead I urge all motorists to slow down, obey the signs and follow the instructions of traffic controllers."

Mr Wallace said collectively these projects would sustain 27 direct and indirect jobs in the Far North Region.