Designs for the Mackay Northern Access Upgrade Project stage one have been released and should provide congestion relief on Bruce Highway north of Mackay.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Michael McCormack, said the upgrade would improve safety and help relieve increasing pressure on the highway and northern Mackay’s road network.
“Demand on the regional road network has been steadily growing and we are getting on the front foot with road infrastructure investments that will deliver a safer and more efficient Bruce Highway and improve traffic flows in the north of Mackay,” Mr McCormack said.
Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads, Mark Bailey, said stage one of the project includes widening the highway to six lanes from the Ron Camm Bridge to Mackay-Bucasia Road intersection, and widening to four lanes from Mackay-Bucasia Road to the Davey Street overpass. The project also includes upgrading several major intersections.
“Motorists who travel along this stretch of the Bruce Highway know just how heavy traffic can be,” Mr Bailey said.
“Providing additional lanes and major upgrades of key intersections – including Sams Road and Mackay-Bucasia Road – will reduce peak-hour congestion.”
Federal Member for Dawson, George Christensen, said the project would streamline an important freight transport route, with Mackay roads carrying about 15 to 20 million tonnes of freight every year.
“This project will provide the major improvements needed to support industry in Mackay, including safer, more efficient access to Mackay’s port,” Mr Christensen said.
Queensland Member for Mackay, Julieanne Gilbert, said 30,000 to 40,000 vehicles a day use the Bruce Highway north of the Pioneer River.
“Once design works and extensive community consultation are finalised we expect stage one of this major project to start in late 2018 and the entire project to be completed by mid-2020, weather permitting,” Ms Gilbert said.
Stage two of the project will include upgrading the Davey Street overpass and widening the highway to four lanes to align with the Mackay Ring Road approximately 350m north of Bald Hill Road.
The Australian Government has committed $64 million to the Mackay Northern Access Upgrade Project with the Queensland Government contributing $16 million.