Jun 23, 2010

Three key Queensland bridges to be strengthened

Three key Queensland bridges to be strengthened

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

June 23 2010

The Dogwood Creek Bridge, the Lockyer Creek Bridge and the Ampol Bridge will all be made strong enough to carry bigger, heavier vehicles, a move which will cut hours and hundreds of kilometres off the journeys of many of the State’s truck drivers.

Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese said the three bridge strengthening projects have been approved under second and final funding round of the Rudd Labor Government’s $70 million Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program.

“The projects announced today are in addition to the seven new rest stops approved under the Program’s first round,” said Mr Albanese.

“Since coming to office, we’ve been working with the trucking industry, as well as the states and territories, to address the lack of modern roadside facilities and open up more of the nation’s road network to trucks – actions which are making the industry safer and even more productive while lowering the costs for individual operators.

“In the years ahead, the trucking industry will also benefit from the unprecedented investment we’re making in the State’s highways as well as the 2013 introduction of one set of nationwide heavy vehicle laws administered by a single national regulator.”

The new projects are being jointly funded by the Rudd and Bligh Labor governments, with the Australian Government contributing $8,900,000, and the Queensland Government contributing $800,000.

Queensland Main Roads Minister Craig Wallace said the money that will be spent on the three bridges will fix a number of costly and frustrating inadequacies in the State’s road network.

“For instance, the long distance drivers that use the Warrego Highway are currently required to detour via Dalby, St George and Roma because of the weight restrictions in place on the Dogwood Creek Bridge, a longer route which adds up to 10 hours to a journey,” said Mr Wallace.

“Similar restrictions on the Lockyer Creek and Ampol bridges are forcing truck drivers to carry lighter loads when traveling between the Port of Brisbane and Toowoomba, one of Queensland’s busiest freight routes.

Nationwide, the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program to date is funding 34 new and 59 refurbished rest stops; 9 new and 18 refurbished parking bays; 5 new and 16 refurbished decoupling bays; 15 bridge strengthening projects, and 14 warning sign projects.