The Saltwater Creek upgrade near Aldershot has been completed one year ahead of schedule.

The $103 million jointly funded project saw an eleven kilometre section of the Bruce Highway between Maryborough and Torbanlea upgraded to be more flood resilient, ready to withstand major flooding events.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, Catherine King, said, “This new section has been built to a standard that means there is a one per cent chance of the highway being closed due to flooding in any given year.

“We are investing in infrastructure projects that will deliver an immediate economic boost by reducing the potential for social, economic and safety risks associated with flood-related highway closures.”  

A new high-level bridge at Deadmans Gully has been constructed on a new alignment to replace the existing crossing, which was opened by Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, in early 2022.

Works finished towards the end of 2022, which saw speed limits returned to 100km/h along the stretch.

Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister, Mark Bailey, said, “Early completion of the works is a testament to the dedication of teams on the ground – one whole year ahead of schedule.

“It’s holiday makers heading up and down the coast who will now reap the safety benefits this upgrade has afforded, as will local residents and workers.

“This stretch connects to the future location of our Queensland made Train Manufacturing hub in Torbanlea so will be getting a workout sure enough.”

Queensland Acting Premier, Steven Miles, said, “Queenslanders are no strangers to natural disasters, we have the most of any state in the country.

“That’s why the Palaszczuk Government is committed to building back better, creating safer and more resilient roads and infrastructure that will withstand the next storm and keep our regional communities connected.” 

A total of four flood ways north of Saltwater Creek have been upgraded, which aim to reduce the impacts for motorists associated with flood-related highway closures between Maryborough and Torbanlea.

The $103 million project is jointly funded as part of the Bruce Highway Upgrade Program, with the Australian Government contributing $82.41 million and the Queensland Government contributing $20.59 million.

The Bruce Highway Upgrade Program is the largest road infrastructure program in Queensland. It will deliver $13 billion of works over a 15-year period (2013-14 to 2027-28). 

It is aimed at improving safety, flood resilience, and capacity along the length and breadth of the highway between Brisbane and Cairns. The program is jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland governments on an 80:20 basis.

Queensland Assistant Minister for Regional Roads and Member for Maryborough, Bruce Saunders, said, “I saw firsthand, as did our community, the effects of flooding cutting off the Bruce Highway – something upgrades like what we’ve delivered here hope to eliminate.

“I’m proud to stand with a Labor Government that continues to invest in our region, to support good jobs from Maryborough to Bundaberg and beyond.

“This upgrade is one of 55 that are currently underway on the Bruce Highway alone showing just how mammoth our commitment to a better Bruce really is.”

Several projects remain underway on the Bruce Highway between Gympie and north of Bundaberg.

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