Work has started on Mackay and Whitsunday’s largest ever road infrastructure project with the first sod officially turned on the Mackay Ring Road project.
Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Darren Chester says the Bruce Highway through Mackay was a critical commuter, freight and tourist route, and this upgrade would improve travel times by 14 per cent by avoiding 13 kilometres of low-speed urban roadway.
“The Australian Government’s $397.9 million contribution to this project, which will reduce congestion, efficiency, and road safety issues, is part of a 10-year commitment to upgrade the Bruce Highway.”
“The Mackay Ring Road project will improve safety for motorists and freight traffic while supporting an estimated 534 direct jobs over the life of the project.”
Queensland Minister for Main Roads and Road Safety Mark Bailey said the Mackay Ring Road would deliver 11.3 kilometres of new road, including the first 2.6 kilometres of the Walkerston Bypass.
“In addition, 13 new bridges will be built, including major bridge crossings on the Pioneer River and Fursden Creek, two major overpasses for the Peak Downs Highway and North Coast Rail Line.”
“Seven minor overpasses of existing local roads and cane rail will also be built and the new Pioneer River crossing will have 100-year flood immunity.”
Federal Member for Dawson George Christensen said the project would provide a huge boost to the regions’ economy over the next three years.
“This is a massive infrastructure project for our region and we can look forward to the flow-on effects of business dollars and job opportunities for a number of years.”
Vehicles using the ring road will avoid 10 sets of traffic lights between Stockroute Road and Bald Hill Road with 80km/h and 100km/h speed limits.
The upgrade is scheduled for completion in early 2020.
The Australian Government is committing $397.9 million and the Queensland Government committing $99.4 million to the Mackay Ring Road project.