The $38 million Tinana interchange upgrade on the Bruce Highway in Queensland has reached an important milestone with the interchange now open to traffic.
Federal Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, Darren Chester, said the restructured interchange was another step towards delivering a safer, more efficient Bruce Highway for motorists and industry throughout Queensland.
“This interchange is another milestone in our jointly funded $8.5 billion Bruce Highway 10-year upgrade program,” Mr Chester said.
“Every dollar we invest in upgrading the Bruce Highway is an investment in lives, local businesses and regional growth. Better roads and highways can change lives and save lives.”
Acting Queensland Minister for Main Roads and Road Safety, Steven Miles, said northbound motorists travelling to Maryborough and Hervey Bay could now exit the highway via a new off-ramp, and both lanes of through traffic could travel under the new overpass while safely separated by a wide centreline.
“Southbound motorists entering the highway from Gympie Road will also benefit from a longer acceleration lane to better align with highway traffic speeds, making the merge easier and safer,” Mr Miles said.
“Importantly, access between the highway and Gympie Road has been re-opened so businesses can enjoy the benefits of passing traffic again. I thank the community for their patience and cooperation while the traffic detours have been in place.”
Federal Member for Wide Bay, Llew O’Brien, said the construction contractor Georgiou Group would remain onsite over the coming weeks to complete the final pavement, guard rail and landscape works as well as removing the side track connections.
“For the continued safety of road workers and motorists, speed reductions will remain in place until the whole project is completed, however the highway speed limit will return to 100km/h upon full completion,” Mr O’Brien said.
“This project has been great news for local employment, with an estimated 118 direct jobs supported over the life of the project, and has transformed the main gateway to Maryborough and the Fraser Coast into a safe, inviting and welcoming entrance for locals and visitors to our region.
“The transport industry and local businesses will benefit from the more efficient movement of freight, tourists will find the interchange more appealing and be more inclined to visit the Fraser Coast, and local motorists will feel safer as they travel between their homes and the highway.”
Member for Maryborough, Bruce Saunders, said the opening was a welcome relief to motorists, businesses and residents, who had been very patient during construction and now had a new interchange that would provide lasting benefits for both the Fraser Coast community and motorists passing through.
“Thanks to the new Tinana interchange we will see an improvement to travel times and road safety at what was previously a known trouble spot,” Mr Saunders said.
“As part of the $38 million project funding, traffic signals will also be installed at the Gympie Road and Iindah Road West intersection, about 440m east of the interchange. These works are expected to commence later this year.”
Construction on the project commenced in July 2016 and is expected to be completed late 2017.
The Australian Government has committed up to $30.4 million and the Queensland Government $7.6 million to fund the $38 million Bruce Highway – Tinana Interchange project.