The Mackay-Slade Point Road bridge upgrade has reached the halfway point with the opening of the new Vines Creek Bridge at the Port of Mackay, Queensland.
Member for Mackay, Julianne Gilbert, said the $28 million replacement project is vital for the continuing growth of the Port of Mackay.
“The Vines Creek Bridges are the only way in and out of the Mackay Port for heavy vehicles, making them critical pieces of infrastructure in the region’s transport network,” Ms Gilbert said.
“The new bridge is great news for the port as it will allow for a heavy loads using the bridge, and will extend the Higher Mass Limit route from the Bruce to the port for the first time.”
The road bridge opens up the opportunity for vehicles to carry a larger load, meaning less wear and tear on vehicles, and more importantly a boost to productivity with fewer trips required.
“The replacement of the two bridges on Mackay-Slade Point Road were on track to be completed in March 2019,” Ms Gilbert said.
“Replacing the Vines Creek Bridges was one of many projects brought forward under the Queensland Government’s Accelerated Works Program, and we are well on our way to achieving this target.
“With this enhancement, freight operators should start to see benefits from the project even before it is fully completed.
“Fewer trips and less heavy vehicles on the road network will also help improve safety for motorists.”
Minister for Transport and Main Roads, Mark Bailey, said the project had several other benefits, including improved cyclist and pedestrian facilities and increased surge protection.
“The completed bridges will have an additional one-metre surge protection, following the completion of the Mackay Regional Council’s levee wall, and a dedicated footpath for pedestrians and cyclists,” Mr Bailey said.
“In addition to improving Mackay’s transport network, an average of 42 direct jobs will be supported over the life of the project.”
The Higher Mass Limit route from the Bruce Highway to the port will take effect once gazetted by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator.
Heavy vehicle operators should check the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator Journey Planner to keep updated on changes.