The Townsville Ring Road project in Queensland, which is expected to create almost 300 jobs, is currently ahead of schedule with construction now anticipated to be complete by early 2017.

Queensland Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester has announced important program updates on the project, including traffic being diverted onto the ring road between the Mount Low Parkway and Veales Road intersections.

Mr Chester said, “Today’s traffic diversion represents another step closer to reducing congestion and improving the efficiency and reliability on this section of the Bruce Highway.

“I’m also happy to announce that the project, which was originally scheduled to be completed by mid-2017, is now expected to be completed by early 2017, weather permitting. This is welcome news for motorists in the region who can look forward to seeing their travel times reduced sooner than expected.

“In addition to providing efficiency gains for motorists and freight vehicles, the project is expected to generate an average of 299 jobs over the life of the project.”

Queensland Minister for Main Roads, Road Safety and Ports Mark Bailey said diverting northbound traffic under the new bridge, and a slight realignment of southbound traffic, will allow for construction of additional southbound lanes on the Bruce Highway.

Mr Bailey said, “From early September, Shaw Road traffic will also be diverted onto the ring road before exiting via the newly constructed Shaw Road off ramp.

“These traffic changes will allow for the reconfiguration of Shaw Road and connection of Townsville Ring Road Section 4 to the existing Townsville Ring Road.”

Townsville-based Senator Ian Macdonald said that as a regular user of the Ring Road, he was delighted at the progress that had been achieved.

“I know the work both Peter Lindsay and Ewen Jones have put into securing Commonwealth funds for roads over the past decade,” Mr Macdonald said.

“The Commonwealth’s investment in roads and plans for other road and railway improvements in the North are a tangible fulfilment of the Coalition’s vision for the north and the Northern Australia Whitepaper.”

Member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper said the $200 million project is supporting the future economic growth of the North Queensland region.

Mr Harper said, “It’s about jobs now and jobs for the future. It’s great to see this important project reach another milestone.”

The $200 million Bruce Highway – Townsville Ring Road – Section 4 project is jointly funded with the Australian Government contributing up to $160 million and the Queensland Government $40 million.

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