The Cairns Western Arterial Road Duplication is progressing, with the preferred upgrade option for between Redlynch Connector Road and Captain Cook Highway now finalised.
The Cairns Western Arterial Road Duplication is jointly funded by the Federal and Queensland governments, with the Federal Government contributing $240 million and the Queensland Government $60 million.
The project is set to support an estimated 185 jobs over its life.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Barnaby Joyce, said the Western Arterial project will duplicate the remaining, single-lane sections to address safety and capacity issues on Cairns Western Arterial Road.
“These upgrades show that the Australian Government is getting the job done for Queenslanders through our record $110 billion infrastructure investment plan,” Mr Joyce said.
“This project is helping to connect communities and improve safety, while creating jobs and supporting our economic recovery.
“Holidaymakers, families reuniting with loved ones interstate and local users will all experience the vast benefits of the upgrades.”
Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister, Mark Bailey, said it was part of the Queensland Government’s $27.5 billion four-year roads and transport plan which is creating 24,000 jobs.
“The Queensland Government is currently delivering more than $1.73 billion worth of road and transport projects across Far North Queensland,” Mr Bailey said.
“This includes major congestion busting projects like the $481 million Bruce Highway Cairns Southern Access upgrade from Edmonton to Gordonvale, $359 million Cairns Ring Road (Cairns CBD to Smithfield) project and the Captain Cook Highway, and the $30 million Intelligent Transport System on the Kuranda Range.
“This is on top of the recently completed $164 million Smithfield Bypass, fully funded by the Queensland Government, and the $123.7 million Bruce Highway Cairns Southern Access upgrade from Kate to Aumuller St, both of which have cut travel times around Cairns.”
Federal Member for Leichhardt, Warren Entsch, said the project complements other road projects currently underway in the region.
“Since 2013, the Australian Government has committed to delivering more than $14 billion in regional road improvements across Queensland, supporting more than 30,000 jobs and boosting the economy,” Mr Entsch said.
“We’ve already delivered over $380 million to jointly fund Stage 3 of upgrades to the southern approaches to Cairns, which will help ease congestion, improved safety and reduced travel times.
“This is in addition to our $98.96 million investment to jointly fund Stage 4 of the Cairns Southern Access Corridor from Kate to Aumuller, which has delivered long-term improvements to traffic flow, freight delivery and road safety south of Cairns.”
Queensland Member for Barron River, Craig Crawford, said the project will be carried out in three stages to minimise traffic disruptions, with Stage two including a duplication of the rail overpass at Redlynch.
“Due to the soils at this location, extra initial works will be required before the main works can start in 2023,” Mr Crawford said.
“The section between Harley Street and Lake Placid Road, including a new bridge over the Barron River at Kamerunga, will be the third and final stage.
“This project will further improve the Cairns road network and supplement the works being undertaken as part of the $359 million Cairns Ring Road project.”
Queensland Member for Cairns, Michael Healy, said the project would further improve travel times already achieved with the completion of the $16.3 million, Harley Street intersection upgrade.
“With a growing city, it is essential that we continue to invest in essential infrastructure and Cairns Western Arterial Road is a key part of that infrastructure, ” Mr Healy said.
“The duplication of the remaining single-lane sections will further improve traffic flow, especially during peak hours.”
The project also includes installation of new paths and upgrades of existing paths to improve safety and connectivity for bike riders and pedestrians.