Dec 16, 2008

Early finish for Ingham flood immunity upgrade

Early finish for Ingham flood immunity upgrade

MEDIA RELEASE

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

December 16 2008

As north Queensland prepares for the wet season, Queensland Main Roads Minister Warren Pitt today inspected the flood immunity improvements on the Bruce Highway at Ingham.

Originally scheduled for completion this month, the $28 million flood immunity project was opened to traffic in September, three months ahead of schedule.

Federal Transport and Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese and Mr Pitt said the upgrade, between Tokalon and Lannercost streets, would provide enhanced immunity against flooding and improved safety for motorists.

“This project has been delivered as part of a $348 million package for works funded by the Australian Government that is delivering a range of flood and safety improvements along the Bruce Highway between Townsville and Cairns,” Mr Albanese said.

“The benefits will be far-reaching and all motorists – including truckies, tourists and the local community – will benefit from a safer and more efficient transport route between Townsville and Cairns.”

Mr Albanese said one of the major projects within the package was construction of the new Mulgrave River bridge at Gordonvale, which would stand five metres higher than the existing bridge, due for completion in December 2009.

“Other projects include bridge and pavement rehabilitation works, intersection improvements and the provision of 13 new overtaking opportunities interspersed between the 22 that already exist between Townsville and Cairns,” he said.

Mr Pitt said the upgraded section of road would reduce the frequency and severity of flooding disruptions during the wet season and provide for better traffic flow on the southern approach into Ingham.

"I’d like to commend the work of the Ingham Alliance team, made up of Main Roads, BMD Constructions and Maunsell AECOM, in getting the job done well in advance of the wet season,” he said.

“The Ingham flood-immunity project has also delivered a number of additional safety benefits to the local community.

“As part of the overall project, Main Roads has included numerous improvements to the existing traffic arrangements, in an effort to bolster road safety and facilitate traffic flow."

Mr Pitt said two major intersections – at McIlwraith and Lannercost streets in the Ingham CBD – had been signalised as part of the upgrade, providing a safer and more controlled road environment for motorists.

"Four new service roads and numerous protected turning lanes have been constructed to separate highway and local traffic and to allow for safer access to the new highway,” he said.

"I would like to thank the local Ingham community for their ongoing support and patience during the delivery of this important flood immunity project."