May 6, 2010

Contractors chosen for Cardwell Range realignment

Contractors chosen for Cardwell Range realignment

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

May 6 2010

The construction companies that will straighten and upgrade the Bruce Highway over the Cardwell Ranges have been selected, clearing the way for work to begin in July.

Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese and Queensland Main Roads Minister Craig Wallace said Abi Group Contractors and SMEC Australia had been selected to design and deliver this federally-funded project, two companies with expertise in delivering large scale road projects.

"The $115 million project is another example of what our Nation Building Program is all about. Directly and indirectly it will put 426 Queenslanders to work modernising the road infrastructure vital to our nation’s long term economic prosperity," said Mr Albanese.

"The new alignment for the Highway will be flatter and straighter, and include climbing lanes for heavy vehicles and an overpass of the Rungoo railway crossing – all measures designed to improve safety along this section of the Bruce.

"This project is part of the unprecedented $2.6 billion we’re investing in the Bruce Highway. In fact, since coming to office we’ve doubled spending of this vital part of the national road network."

Main Roads Minister Craig Wallace said the project, 15 km north of Ingham, would improve road safety for motorists.

"Not only will this project boost road safety, it will generate jobs for local workers at a time when jobs and job security are more important than ever before," said Mr Wallace.

"It’s a win for workers and a win for motorists. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been on the range, behind a heavy vehicle, as it struggles up those steep hills.

"Once the upgrade is completed, motorists will have a smoother, more seamless journey up and down the range."

Mr Wallace said the upgrade would be carried out on a stretch of the highway that passes through the Girringun National Park.

"The project team will work hard to make sure the environment is protected while work is being carried out," said Mr Wallace.

"We’re investing in more than road infrastructure. We’re investing in people who live, work and visit our great region. We’re investing in their future.

"We’re working shoulder to shoulder with the Rudd Government to build a road network that is second to none."

This project is expected to be completed in late 2012, depending on the weather.