Queensland freight road to receive $400m upgrade

The Federal Government has approved the $400 million funding to start work on Stage 1 of the Mackay Ring Road project in Queensland.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Darren Chester, said delivering $397.9 million towards the project was another element of the $8.5 billion task of fixing the Bruce Highway.

“This project is moving fast – just four months ago we called for expressions of interest, and now the lion’s share of funding from the Commonwealth has been locked in,” he said.

“Even better, we’ve identified savings of around $50 million. The money saved can go towards other high priority projects along the Bruce Highway.”

Federal Member for Dawson, George Christensen, said the project would take heavy vehicle traffic away from Mackay’s CBD and residential areas, and create a bypass for all vehicles, which aren’t heading into Brisbane.

The Mackay Ring Road has been recognised as one of the most significant projects to be undertaken in the nation over the next fifteen years by the independent infrastructure advisor Infrastructure Australia.

According to Christensen, the first stage of the project would upgrade more than 11 kilometres of road between Stockroute and Bald Hill Roads, with the specific purpose of reducing traffic congestion and accidents.

Work on Stage One is due to start mid-year and be completed by early 2020. The Australian Government has committed up to $397.9 million to the Bruce Highway — Mackay Ring Road — Stage 1 project, with the Queensland Government committing up to $99.4 million.

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