The Federal Labor Government has approved $10.5 million in new funding to improve safety along the Kennedy Highway and to make sure it can remain open all year round including during the wet season.
The work to be carried out will be added to the current six-year Nation Building Program (2008-09 to 2013-14) and follows strong representations from local MP Bob Katter.
Firstly, we will replace the existing low level, single lane timber bridge over Nettle Creek with a new, higher concrete bridge, reducing the likelihood of the Highway being inundated at this location from a 1 in 20 year to a 1 in 50 year flood event.
The new bridge will also open up the Highway to bigger trucks and road trains, which is vital considering it provides an alternative route for getting freight and produce into and out of Cairns and the surrounding Tablelands when the Bruce Highway is cut by extreme weather events, as it was when Cyclone Yasi struck early last year.
Less than 20 kilometres down the road a separate project will widen and strengthen the single lane section near Millstream to improve safety for motorists and truck drivers alike.
Following further investigative and detail design work, we expect construction to begin on both projects next year and be completed in 2014.