The Federal Government has committed $800 million to build a 26km bypass of Gympie on Queensland’s Bruce Highway, after completing a detailed design of the project earlier this year.
Known as the Section D upgrade, the four-lane bypass will be the final link in a 62km upgrade of the Bruce Highway between Cooroy and Curra, designed to avoid an area of the highway known to be dangerous.
In an announcement, local member for Wide Bay Llew O'Brien said the community had campaigned for a long time to find a solution to the problem.
"This project will transform one of the deadliest sections of highway into the safest, with a high capacity four lane divided highway from Woondum to Curra," he says.
"Section D eliminates eight sets of traffic lights for people travelling between Maryborough and Cooroy, eases traffic congestion in Gympie, improves access to the Cooloola Coast, better connects Wide Bay to Brisbane and beyond and ensures this section of highway remains open when the Mary River floods."
Assistant minister to the deputy prime minister Keith Pitt said the funding announcement was a big win for regional Queensland.
"The upgrade will not only make the highway safer, it will also attract more drive tourists and open up new economic opportunities for regional Queensland from new free trade agreements," Pitt says.
The project is funded on an 80/20 basis, with the Queensland government committing to $200 million for the project during its 2017 election campaign.
Acting Queensland transport minister Leeanne Enoch welcomed the new funding commitment yesterday, saying the stretch of the Bruce Highway from Cooroy to Curra had a reputation of being one of the highway’s most dangerous.
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