Better safety and less congestion at the intersection between the Bruce and Capricorn highways will soon be a reality following the start of major construction work on a long-overdue upgrade, with the entire project expected to be completed by early 2014.
Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese said the project will duplicate the Bruce Highway between the Yeppen Roundabout and the Jellicoe Street/Upper Dawson Road intersection.
“It will also install a slip lane from the Capricorn Highway to the Bruce, erect traffic lights at the intersection between Jellicoe Street and Upper Dawson Road, and make safety improvements at the Port Curtis Road and Ferguson Street intersection,” said Mr Albanese.
“This multi-million project was one of our key pledges during the 2010 election campaign and when it comes to infrastructure, Federal Labor means what it says and does what it promises.
“After two years of detailed planning, extensive community consultations and preconstruction activities, we’ve pressed the ‘go’ button on a project that represents a major investment in Rockhampton’s future.
“The fact we have reached this milestone is a tribute to all those in the local community who have championed the upgrade for many years. In particular I want to acknowledge the work of my friend and colleague Kirsten Livermore. It was her strong and persistent representations which led to Federal Labor’s pledge to provide the necessary funding in the first place.”
Representing Mr Albanese at today’s ground-breaking ceremony marking the start of work on this $85 million project, Capricornia MP Kirsten Livermore said the planned improvements will significantly ease congestion at what is an important intersection between the two major highways.
“In particular, the upgrade will improve traffic flows into and out of the Stanwell Industrial Corridor, the Port of Gladstone and the mining areas to the south and west of the City,” said Ms Livermore.
“As well as delivering faster, less frustrating driving conditions for the 12,000 motorists and truck drivers which use the Yeppen roundabout and bridge every day, the project will also improve safety.
“Over the five years to 2008, this section of highway has been the scene of 62 crashes, making it the region’s most dangerous stretch of road. Obviously that’s a title no one wants to hold, so we’re fixing it.
The Yeppen Roundabout and Bridge Upgrade is a project being jointly funded by the Federal ($68 million) and Queensland ($17 million) governments.