Expressions of interest (EOI) are now open for the construction of Queensland’s $150 million Walkerston Bypass.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack, said the step marked important progress towards construction on the project on the Peak Downs Highway.

“This is an investment in improving the main freight, tourism and road transport corridor between Clermont and Mackay that will remove through traffic from Walkerston,” Mr McCormack said.

“The Walkerston Bypass will offer a safer and more efficient link by addressing congestion, safety and connection issues posed by the existing Peak Downs Highway.

“This project will complement other major infrastructure projects, such as the $189 million Eton Range Realignment project and the recently completed $497.3 million Mackay Ring Road, supporting jobs and communities as Australia looks to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads, Mark Bailey, said the Walkerston Bypass would provide a 10.6km link between the Bruce and Peak Downs highways.

“It will follow Stockroute Road before deviating south at the western end and joining the Peak Downs Highway west of Walkerston,” Mr Bailey said.

“The first 2.6km of the bypass has already been built as part of the Mackay Ring Road, which opened last week, with the rest of the project set to support another 200 local jobs.

“We’ve also locked in a further $18 million in joint funding for safety upgrades on the Peak Downs Highway between Mackay and Eton as part of the $1 billion Queensland roads stimulus packages announced since April, so we’re pleased more projects are due to come online.”

Federal Member for Capricornia, Michelle Landry, said the new Walkerston Bypass would become the designated heavy vehicle route for B-double and other multi-combination vehicles, including A-double road trains, between the Bruce Highway and the Peak Downs Highway.

“Reducing the volume of freight traffic travelling through Walkerston will improve the safety and amenity of the town’s road network,” Ms Landry said.

Federal Member for Dawson, George Christensen, said key features included a new flood-immune bridge over Bakers Creek and three overpasses above the local road and cane railway network.

“Completion is expected by late 2023, weather and construction conditions permitting,” Mr Christensen said.

State Member for Mackay, Julieanne Gilbert, said the tender award would take place in March 2021, with construction expected to start soon after.

“Stage 1 of the Mackay Ring Road was an important local employer, with more than 1,800 locals inducted onto site during construction,” Ms Gilbert said.

“Our region needs major projects like these upgrades to keep people in work as our economy recovers from the pandemic, but also to help transform our road network by making local roads safer and less congested.

“We’ve just finished stage one of the ring road, the Eton Range upgrade is almost done and now we’re moving on to the Walkerston Bypass and, after that, Stage 2 of the ring road out to the port, so there is a solid pipeline of projects funded and ready to go for Mackay.”

This $150 million Walkerston Bypass is jointly funded by the Australian Government committing $120 million and the Queensland Government committing $30 million.

To for more information, or to submit an EOI, click here.

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