Queensland budget backs billion dollar Sunshine Coast infrastructure upgrades

The next stage of upgrades for the Bruce Highway in Sunshine Coast will be built as part of the Queensland Government’s $3.13 billion, four-year infrastructure plan for the region.

Transport and Main Roads Minister, Mark Bailey, said the government’s budget had secured an additional $22.8 million in state funding to overhaul the Maroochydore Road and Mons Road interchanges and create more than 380 constructions jobs.

It adds to key budget funding to tackle congestion on the growing Sunshine Coast like the jointly-funded $662.5 million highway duplication from Steve Irwin Way to Caboolture and $550 million Beerburrum to Nambour rail upgrade, as well as ongoing funding for the construction of the $812.5 million highway upgrade from Caloundra Road to the Sunshine Motorway.

“The Palaszczuk Government is delivering a record $23 billion in roads and transport infrastructure for Queenslanders, including the state’s largest ever road project, the Bruce Highway Upgrade Program,” Mr Bailey said.

“We’ve committed $60.25 million to increase the scope of the Maroochydore Road interchange project to include critical upgrades for Mons Road.

“The interchange upgrade will see a new four-lane, eastbound bridge built over the Bruce Highway at Maroochydore Road to accommodate growth in one of Queensland’s fastest-growing regions.”

The upgrades will now also include:

  • The construction of service roads between the Mons Road and Maroochydore Road interchanges
  • The relocation of the Mons Road northbound off-ramp to a new roundabout at the intersection of Rainforest and Chevallum roads
  • Removal of the substandard exit road on Mons Road northbound off-ramp

The $60.25 million commitment joins a $241 million commitment by the Federal Government to deliver the project on an 80:20 funding basis.

Mr Bailey said active transport would be a key focus of the upgrade, with provisions for bike riders and pedestrians through the Maroochydore Road interchange connecting to the new east service road.

“More than 800,000 Queenslanders ride their bike each week, which is why we’re building bike infrastructure not only on this upgrade but also other upgrades along the coast include the Bruce upgrade from Caloundra Road to the Sunshine Motorway.

“We expect the Department of Transport and Main Roads to get straight into the upgrade, with tenders going out in coming months ahead of construction next year, coinciding with the start of construction on the highway duplication between Caboolture and Steve Irwin Way.

Mr Bailey said unlocking rail capacity on the coast was also a top priority for the Queensland Government.

“We’re getting on with the job of building the Beerburrum to Nambour Rail project, with early works already underway.

“We’ll continue to seek fair funding from the Federal Government on this project, which should be funded on an 80:20 basis like the Bruce Highway. But right now, with $550 million committed in the budget, we’re progressing detailed design, geotechnical investigations and surveying.

“By building the Sunshine Coast rail upgrade, we’ll be able to cut travel times, take cars off the road and create a more integrated public transport network for locals and visitors.

“To make sure we’re delivering for the Sunshine Coast in the long term, we’ve also funded $7.5 million to develop a comprehensive public transport plan on the Sunshine Coast in partnership with council.

“The Palaszczuk Government’s previous budgets created the pipeline of major infrastructure projects that today employ thousands of Queenslanders.

“This year’s budget outlines the future projects we believe need to be prioritised for Queenslanders.”

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