A contract has been awarded to deliver pavement widening and road safety upgrades between Bajool and Midgee, south of Rockhampton, with 128 jobs to be supported during the construction phase.

WHBO Infrastructure has been awarded the contract to begin works on the new pavement widening and safety works on the Bruce Highway.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Darren Chester, said the $32 million project was one of four being undertaken as part of the Caboolture to St Lawrence pavement widening package, which will improve road safety at high-risk locations along the Bruce Highway.

“Today’s announcement couldn’t come at a better time as we continue building a better, safer national road network, and drive down the trend in fatalities on Australian roads,” Mr Chester said.

“More than 5,000 motorists drive the Bruce Highway between Rockhampton and Gladstone each day and one of the simple but effective ways we are making it safer is by widening the gap between centre lines in places and putting more space between oncoming vehicles.”

Queensland Minister for Main Roads, Road Safety and Ports, Mark Bailey, said the Bruce Highway was the economic backbone for many Queensland communities.

“The Bruce Highway works south of Rockhampton will improve safety and traffic flow for all drivers and most importantly, will cater for the continued growth of Bruce Highway traffic into the future. I am looking forward to seeing the completion of this project by mid 2018, weather permitting, as we work toward improving the state’s economy and reducing fatalities on our roads,” Mr Bailey said.

Federal Member for Flynn, Ken O’Dowd, said the investment would rebuild rough, potholed or corrugated sections of highway and upgrade intersections to separate turning vehicles from highway traffic.

“It’s great to see the next milestone being delivered on this important project for local residents, who are well aware of the dangers of this section of road. We’ve listened to their concerns and are acting to improve the driving experience along this busy section of the National Highway,” Mr O’Dowd said.

“I look forward to seeing the project completed and am sure motorists will be patient while the roadworks are in operation.”

State Member for Mirani, Jim Pearce, said in the past, turning traffic would sit stationary on the highway before turning into the side road, causing serious safety issues and putting lives at risk.

“Turning vehicles will soon have their own lane while highway traffic can safely continue along uninterrupted. This is a high-speed, high-volume section of road, and what we want to do is minimise the chance of an accident or fatality,” Mr Pearce said.

In addition to the $32 million safety upgrades between Bajool and Midgee, three other pavement widening and safety projects in the Rockhampton region have started will start shortly. Works are expected to be completed over the next 12 months and include:

  • $2.8 million for safety and intersection upgrades at South Ulam Road (Bajool) and Gentle Annie Road (Raglan)
  • $6.7 million for widening, reconstruction and intersection upgrades from Miriam Vale to Bororen
  • $5.2 million for safety works and an intersection upgrade at Atkinson Road, Raspberry Creek Road and Kooltrandra Road north of Rockhampton

The pavement widening and safety works are funded by the Australian and Queensland Governments based on an 80:20 funding share.

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