The $9 million project to widen and strengthen a section of the Bruce Highway south of Townsville near Julago and Nome has been completed ahead of schedule.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Barnaby Joyce, said the $9 million project would improve the safety, access and reliability of the highway.

“Building a better, safer Bruce Highway is all part of keeping our coastal Queensland communities connected, improving driver safety and giving businesses every opportunity to succeed,” Mr Joyce said.

“More than 7000 vehicles use this section of the highway each day — many of them heavy vehicles — and these works have made the pavement more resistant to wear and tear.”

Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads, Mark Bailey, congratulated crews for completing the upgrades so quickly.

“These upgrades will make life easier for people travelling south of Townsville, and for those who ultimately call Elliot Springs home,” Mr Bailey said.

“We want people spending less time on the road, and more time doing what they enjoy, and that’s what these improvements will do.”

Federal Member for Dawson, George Christensen, said the works would help save lives.

“Two sections of the highway, between Three Sisters Road and Billabong Sanctuary, and between Billabong Sanctuary and the Sunbird Motel, have been upgraded. One-metre-wide centreline treatments and audio tactile line marking have been applied as part of this project, both of which greatly reduce the risk of head-on collisions,” Mr Christensen said.

“Not only have we delivered for Queensland motorists, but I’m proud to say the works were completed well ahead of schedule.”

The Australian Government contributed $7.2 million to the road widening and strengthening project, and the Queensland Government contributed $1.8 million.

The project is part of a broader pavement widening package of works between south of Home Hill and North Ingham, being delivered under the jointly funded $8.5 billion, 10-year Bruce Highway Upgrade Program.

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