Ministers for the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities The Hon Michael McCormack MP Deputy Prime MinisterMinister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie Minister for Regional ServicesMinister for SportMinister for Local Government and Decentralisation The Hon Alan Tudge MP Minister for Cities, Urban Infrastructure and Population The Hon Sussan Ley MP Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories The Hon Andrew Broad MP Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister The Hon Scott Buchholz MP Assistant Minister for Roads and Transport The Hon Barnaby Joyce MPFormer Deputy Prime MinisterFormer Minister for Infrastructure and Transport The Hon Dr John McVeigh MPFormer Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government The Hon Keith Pitt MPFormer Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister The Hon Damian Drum MPFormer Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister Senator the Hon Fiona Nash Former Minister for Regional DevelopmentFormer Minister for Local Government and Territories The Hon Darren Chester MP Former Minister for Infrastructure and TransportFormer A/g Minister for Regional DevelopmentFormer A/g Minister for Local Government and Territories The Hon Warren Truss MP Former Deputy Prime Minister Former Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development The Hon Paul Fletcher MP Former Minister for Urban Infrastructure and Cities The Hon Jamie Briggs MP Former Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development

New Sandy Gully bridge opens three months early

Media Release

DC420/2017

12 December 2017

Joint release with:

George Christensen

Federal Member for Dawson

  • $57 million project between Bowen and Townsville opens three months early
  • Upgrade to improve safety, flood resilience and capacity on Bruce Highway
  • Part of the Australian and Queensland Governments' 10-year commitment to upgrade the Bruce Highway

The new $57 million Sandy Gully Bridge north of Bowen will open three months early, boosting driver safety on the Bruce Highway in the leadup to Christmas.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said the project was one of standout upgrades happening along the length of the highway, and was an important part of the Australian Government's action plan to reduce accidents.

“This project is part of the Australian Government's $6.7 billion 10-year commitment to upgrade the Bruce Highway, which aims to improve safety, flood resilience and capacity along this important national corridor,” Mr Chester said.

“During Cyclone Debbie, the Bruce Highway was cut off at the old Sandy Gully Bridge, causing additional disruption to affected communities. We are now far better prepared for future wet weather events, with the upgrade improving flood immunity from Euri Creek all the way to the Merinda rail overpass.

Federal Member for Dawson George Christensen, who has pushed for the upgrade since being elected in 2010, said it would provide significant safety benefits along the busy tourist route between Bowen and Townsville.

“The highway was realigned to accommodate the new bridge and to straighten curved sections, making it safer for vehicles travelling at high speed,” Mr Christensen said.

“By widening and raising the height of the road, the realigned sections of the highway are now much safer for motorists and far more reliable for freight vehicles. Improving the flood immunity will also limit the risks motorists take through flood waters, while the project has also benefited local employment, with a total of 107 jobs supported during the life of the project.

“It's a great outcome to have this work completed by local contractors, Vassallo Constructions, three months ahead of time and crucially ahead of the next wet season.”

Construction on the Sandy Gully Bridge Upgrade started in September 2016.

The Australian Government committed $46 million and the Queensland Government $11 million to fund the $57 million Bruce Highway – Sandy Gully Bridge Upgrade project. This project forms part of the $8.5 billion, 10 year Bruce Highway Upgrade Program, to which the Australian Government is committing up to $6.7 billion.