In the past, flooding has closed the Bruce Highway at Tiaro for up to three days causing major disruptions to producers, truckies and locals.
Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister, Mark Bailey, and Member for Maryborough, Bruce Saunders, unveiled the plans which will see a new road built east of Tiaro and around flood-prone areas like Black Swamp Creek within five years.
Minister Bailey said planning is already underway, with the upgrade part of the Queensland Government’s $1.9 billion pipeline of road and transport projects in the region.
“There’s 580 local jobs being created by the Cooroy to Gympie upgrade, 286 at Saltwater Creek and this project will add hundreds more,” Mr Bailey said.
“We’re building the state’s largest ever road infrastructure project: the $12.6 billion Bruce Highway upgrade program.
“Projects like this are getting families, truckies and tourists home sooner and safer.”
Mr Saunders said the upgrade would be built to withstand a one in 100-year flood.
Earlier this year, Transport and Main Roads staff sought feedback from the Tiaro community about a potential upgrade.
“Locals overwhelmingly told me they want a bypass to avoid congestion in town and access being cut off when it floods,” Mr Saunders said.
“More than 5,800 local businesses pump close to $4 billion into our economy every year, and many rely on the Bruce Highway to get their goods out the door.
“This is about making sure our community and local businesses don’t come to a standstill when severe weather hits.”
Further consultation will occur, following a highway alignment being developed.
The highway upgrade is jointly-funded by the Australian and Queensland Governments.