The $152 million Smithfield Bypass project has reached the next step as potential contractors had their first briefing in mid-August 2017.

Member for Barron River, Craig Crawford, said the event showed the Government was getting on with the job as fast as possible.

“I know how much this project means to the people of Cairns, which is why we are already engaging with the construction industry and potential contractors,” Mr Crawford said.

“Once complete, it will dramatically shorten commutes to and from the thriving Northern Beaches – meaning locals and visitors can spend less time in the car, and more time with family and friends.”

Acting Main Roads and Road Safety Minister, Steven Miles, said suitably qualified contractors were invited to express interest in participating in an ‘early contractor involvement’ (ECI) procurement process for the $152 million project.

“Industry stakeholders have been briefed on the scope of the project and provided with indicative dates for release of various construction and engineering consultant contracts,” Mr Miles said.

“We have also invited suitably qualified and experienced contractors to step forward and express interest in participating in an ECI procurement process.

“Shortlisted contractors will then have the opportunity to undertake further planning and preliminary design work.”

Mr Miles said during the ECI phase, shortlisted contractors will have to demonstrate how they intended to meet the Queensland Government’s recently announced ‘Buy Queensland’ policy,

“There will undoubtedly be opportunities for involvement by Cairns-based businesses.”.

Mr Miles commended the Cairns community and Mr Crawford for being such strong advocates for the bypass.

“When it’s complete, the 3.8km-long road running parallel with Captain Cook Highway will provide an alternative route between the McGregor Road intersection and Yorkeys Knob Road intersection,” Mr Miles said.

“Traffic modelling indicates the new road will reduce trip times between McGregor Road and Yorkeys Knob Road by about 63 per cent during the morning peak and 75 per cent during the afternoon peak.

“It will also reduce the risk of crashes at the busy roundabouts at Smithfield and Caravonica.”

Mr Miles said construction of the Smithfield Bypass was on track to start in late 2018, and would deliver significant benefits for local industry.

“The business case indicates the project will support about 115 full-time jobs over its duration.”

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