A new construction contract has been awarded for the Edmonton to Gordonvale section of the Bruce Highway, the single biggest road project in Far North Queensland.
John Holland Seymour Whyte AECOM Group (HSA Group) was awarded the contract to design and build the Bruce Highway – Cairns Southern Access Corridor – Stage 3: Edmonton to Gordonvale project.
The project aims to significantly improve safety on the busy two-lane section of the Bruce Highway between Brisbane and Cairns by transforming it into a four-lane road.
Construction of the $481 million project, jointly funded by the Federal and Queensland Governments, is on track to start in 2020.
Once complete, it will provide an important link for the Bruce Highway – Cairns Southern Access Corridor Upgrades from Gordonvale to Cairns CBD.
Alongside the duplications and upgrading of 10.5km of the Bruce Highway, the contract also involves relocating 4.7km of the North Coast rail line.
Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack, said, “This significant infrastructure investment in the Far North region will deliver an upgrade to an essential section of the Bruce Highway.”
Mr McCormack added that the selection of HSA Group followed “a rigorous assessment process”.
“HSA Group has an excellent track record of successfully delivering major infrastructure projects in the North Queensland region.
“The Australian and Queensland governments are committed to bringing a more efficient and safe highway driving experience, to get you where you need to be safely and on time.”
As part of the tender process, the potential contractors demonstrated a commitment to engaging local employees and businesses.
Tenderers were required to include information on how they would deliver the project using local personnel, resources, suppliers and subcontractors.
Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister, Mark Bailey, said, “I’m pleased construction of this important project has been awarded to a business that will support the community of Far North Queensland.”
Federal Member for Leichhardt, Warren Entsch, said the project would cater for increasing demand on the road network.
“The long-term benefits will be safer journeys and reduced congestion, which is a great outcome for the local community,” Mr Entsch said.
State Member for Mulgrave, Curtis Pitt, said an important feature of the Cairns Southern Access Corridor projects was the inclusion of an off-road cycleway for bike riders from Cairns CBD to the southern suburbs of Cairns.
“This project is a fantastic development for Far North Queensland that will extend the cycleway from Edmonton to Gordonvale and ensure the region has key road infrastructure in place to support economic growth into the future,” Mr Pitt said.
“By providing a dedicated off-road bike riding option for commuting and recreation activity, we can support Far North Queenslanders with a safer environment that encourages people to be more active and swap their car trip for a bike ride.
“The Queensland Government has a $219 million budget over four years to build new bike paths and infrastructure across Queensland, so additional projects like this will add more kilometres to our bike networks for locals and visitors to the region.”
Works are expected to be completed in 2023, weather permitting.
The Federal Government has committed $384.8 million to the Bruce Highway – Cairns Southern Access Corridor – Stage 3: Edmonton to Gordonvale project with the Queensland Government contributing $96.2 million and will support 466 jobs over the life of the project.