A $16.5 million upgrade of a 6km section of the Bruce Highway north of Tiaro will improve road safety for the trucking industry, Queensland transport minister Mark Bailey says.
Opened today, the upgrade involved building dedicated turning lanes and a new northbound overtaking lane as well as installing wide centre lines and extending an existing southbound overtaking lane on the road, which is the state’s major north-south road corridor.
Bailey says the upgrade makes the road safer for local residents and visitors to the region, located north of Brisbane but south of Maryborough.
"The new and extended overtaking lanes will provide motorists with safer opportunities to pass slow-moving vehicles and the creation of a one-metre gap between opposing oncoming lanes further reduces the risk of serious accidents – including ‘head-ons’," he says.
The $16.55 million project was jointly funded with the Australian Government contributing $13.24 million and the Queensland Government contributing $3.31 million.
Queensland MP for Maryborough Bruce Saunders says the upgrade is an excellent example of the Australian and Queensland governments working together to improve road safety.
"The works also delivered a new right-turn lane at the Hoffman Road intersection, along with left and right right-turn lanes at the Old Bruce Highway south intersection, while Owanyilla Boundary Road east intersection has now permanently closed to accommodate the extended southbound overtaking lane," Saunders says.
For federal MPf or Wide Bay Llew O’Brien, by effectively separating through and turning traffic, the new dedicated turning lanes had also reduced the potential for rear-end crashes.
"The Bruce Highway between Gympie and Maryborough is notoriously dangerous and this new upgrade will improve safety along this section," O’Brien says.
"These safety improvements have substantially reduced the risks associated with turning onto and off the highway at Tahlia Lane, Canterwood Road and the Old Gympie Road and Petersen Road intersections."
"But there is a lot more work to be done, and the immediate priority needs to be the Cooroy to Curra Section D project, which will be a game changer for motorists travelling between Maryborough and Cooroy, and I am continuing to fight for funding to construct it," he says.
The Cooroy to Curra project is a 62km realignment of the Bruce Highway to four lanes, with Section D of the project covering the 26km stretch between Woondum and Curra, to the North, as well as a bypass to the larger regional centre of Gympie.
While design of that portion of the project is scheduled for completion, no funding or schedule has yet been announced for the project to be developed.
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