Work on the $34.2 million project to duplicate Bill Fulton Bridge on the Cairns Western Arterial Road (CWAR) in Queensland has begun.

The project scope is expected to include 120m of new bridging, duplication of 700m of CWAR between Brinsmead and Redlynch Connection roads and signalisation of the Brinsmead Road intersection.

Queensland Acting Premier and Minister for Infrastructure, Jackie Trad, said the project was important for the local community with almost 100 jobs expected to be supported during construction.

“I’m certain the 30,000 drivers who use the route every day are as pleased as I am to see that this project is now well underway and, weather permitting, will be finished before Christmas next year,” Ms Trad said.

“The project will remove a notorious ‘pinch-point’ and improve safety at a busy intersection used by local school traffic.”

Queensland Treasurer and Member for Mulgrave, Curtis Pitt, said that this project was an example of how the 2016-17 budget was delivering priority infrastructure efficiently.

“We are eager to progress this important project as quickly as possible and before Christmas we expect to see vegetation clearing, site access construction, temporary drainage works, significant earthworks and bridge piling,” Mr Pitt said.

“This is real action which will improve traffic flows and transport efficiencies around the city as our region continues to grow.”

Member for Barron River, Craig Crawford, said the Government was also working closely with Indigenous communities.

“We want to ensure that works will be carried out with consideration of potential environmental and cultural heritage impacts by working closely with the Gimuy Walubara Yindinji People, the Yirrganydji (Irukandji) People and Djabugay-Bulway-Yirrgay-Nyakali-Guluy People.

“Turning right in or out of Brinsmead Road during peak periods can be very challenging, with some drivers avoiding the intersection altogether rather than attempting to cross multiple lanes of fast-moving traffic and this project will seek to address that.”

The project is funded by the Queensland Government’s $180 million Significant Regional Infrastructure Projects Program (SRIPP) through the $2 billion State Infrastructure Fund.

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