Dec 23, 2008

Extra lanes on Bruce Highway in time for Christmas

Extra lanes on Bruce Highway in time for Christmas

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 23 2008

Motorists are experiencing safer and more efficient travelling conditions on the Bruce Highway north of Innisfail due to the completion of additional overtaking lanes just in time for the busy holiday season.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Anthony Albanese said construction of the overtaking lanes between Victory Creek and Todd Road was completed early this week (Monday 22 December).

"These additional overtaking lanes, for both northbound and southbound traffic, will increase safety and ease driver frustration on this section of road during the Christmas/New Year break," Mr Albanese said.

"The extra lanes will provide more overtaking opportunities for motorists, easing congestion and improving travel times.”

Main Roads Minister Warren Pitt commended the Main Roads project team and contactors CEC for their commitment to delivering the project on schedule.

"Main Roads and CEC have formed an excellent working relationship which has enabled the delivery of this vital road project in time for the busy holiday season," Mr Pitt said.

"The completion of this project will help manage the increasing traffic volumes on the Bruce Highway between the thriving towns of Cairns and Townsville, particularly during the busiest tourist traffic of the year.

“I would like to thank motorists and residents of Innisfail for their ongoing patience and cooperation during delivery of this important project.”

Mr Albanese said the project was part of the federally-funded $348 million Accelerated Bruce Highway Upgrade Package implemented to improve driving conditions between Cairns and Townsville.

"This package of works will help address traffic safety, efficiency and flooding on this key transport corridor,” he said.

“Along with flood-immunity upgrades on selected sections of highway, the program also includes the addition of 13 new overtaking lanes between Cairns and Townsville.”

Construction of three overtaking lanes on the highway north of Townsville was completed in September.

Two projects for the construction of additional overtaking lanes south of Ingham and south of Cardwell are currently in the design phase.

Minister Pitt applauded the Australian Government for their funding support towards improving the Bruce Highway in north Queensland.

"This investment in infrastructure demonstrates how the Australian and Queensland governments are working together on a coordinated package of works designed to make travel on the Bruce Highway safer and more efficient," he said.

Mr Pitt said construction of the second set of overtaking lanes between Cairns and Tully commenced last month, with contractors Downer EDI Works delivering the works for Main Roads.

"This second project involves the construction of overtaking lanes on the Bruce Highway between Giddens Creek and Babinda, just south of Babinda, and is due for completion in early 2009, weather permitting.

"Main Roads is also in the advanced planning stage for the construction of overtaking lanes in both directions between El Arish and Silkwood."

Construction of these projects is scheduled to take place in mid-2009.