More than 6kms of the Flinders Highway between Townsville and Torrens Creek has been improved as part of an $22.2 million upgrade to improve safety and efficiency.

The highway was widened at Mingela and Sellheim, north of Charters Towers and wide centre line treatments installed to better separate oncoming vehicles. Planning to widen an additional 1.5km section of the highway has also begun.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack, said the $22.2 million project was jointly funded under the Northern Australia Roads Program (NARP).

“Through the Northern Australia Roads Program, we’re delivering vital upgrades that improve transport networks and support economic development,” Mr McCormack said.

“This Flinders Highway upgrade will improve safety, travel times and conditions for tourism and supply vehicles.

“Upgrades such as these will also enhance liveability in rural communities, by making roads to and from major cities safer and more accessible.”

Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister, Mark Bailey, said the Queensland Government had also provided additional funding for intersection upgrades to be delivered as part of the widening works.

“As well as the 6kms of widening works, we also used $1.3 million from our government’s Safer Roads Sooner program to install right-turn lanes at the Dotswood Road, Mingela Road and School Street intersections to improve safety,” Mr Bailey said.

“Earlier this month we also started work to repair flood damaged sections of the highway between Hughenden and Julia Creek, so the Flinders is getting some much needed investment to make it safer and more flood-resilient.

“These works do temporarily slow drivers down with speed restrictions and traffic control measures will be in place, so we appreciate and thank motorists for slowing down around these sites and looking out for our road workers.

FKG Group (FK Gardner) delivered the Flinders Highway Mingela to Sellheim upgrade works, which began in June 2018 and supported 51 jobs.

Senator for Queensland, Susan McDonald, said the economic benefits of the project were already being felt by the community.

“The works themselves are already supporting jobs, with an average of 51 direct jobs to be created over the life of the project,” Ms McDonald said.

“It will make the highway much safer and more efficient, which is a great result for all motorists.”

Projects under the $600 million Northern Australia Roads Program are funded by the Australian and State Governments on an 80:20 basis.

The $22.2 million Flinders Highway widening project includes Australian and Queensland Government contributions of $17.8 million and $4.4 million.

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