New Fiery Creek Bridge opens to traffic

Media Release

DC294/2017

29 September 2017

Joint release with:

Mark Bailey

Queensland Minister for Main Roads, Road Safety and Ports

Michelle Landry

Federal Member for Capricornia

Jim Pearce

Member for Mirani

The first of four new bridges to be built on the Peak Downs Highway opened to traffic today, with the new Fiery Creek bridge set to significantly improve freight transport in the region by supporting larger vehicles and reducing road closures.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said the new structure was part of a $70 million, jointly funded upgrade package which would also be used to replace ageing timber bridges at Boundary, Cut and Lonely creeks over the coming months.

The Boundary Creek bridge will be the second to open next weekend, with the others to follow in October, weather permitting.

“Building better bridges in regional communities also builds better economies and lifestyles by improving safety and helping producers get their products to market more efficiently. Once all these bridges have been replaced, they'll be great examples of how investing in regional infrastructure delivers longstanding economic benefits for the region and the state,” Mr Chester said.

Queensland Minister for Main Roads and Road Safety Mark Bailey said the new bridges would significantly improve flood immunity, improving the reliability and connectivity of this key transport route.

“During wet weather events, some of the old timber bridges had to be closed due to flooding, affecting the hundreds of motorists using the route. Starting with Fiery Creek, this section of the Peak Downs Highway will soon be able to withstand a one-in-50-year flood event,” Mr Bailey said.

Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry said Fiery Creek Bridge had been widened and was now able to accommodate larger freight vehicles, with the remaining three bridge replacements to receive similar upgrades.

“The new bridges will boost freight transport efficiency, reduce maintenance costs, and create job opportunities for the region, with 114 jobs to be created over the life of these projects,” Ms Landry said.

Member for Mirani Jim Pearce said the upgrades meant locals were less likely to be disadvantaged during times of extreme weather.

“As we have just seen with Cyclone Debbie, Central Queensland often bears the brunt of heavy rainfall events, leading to flooding. This upgrade will not only make travel easier, it will keep vital roads open at times when they're needed the most,” Mr Pearce said.

Work on all four bridges is expected to be completed in early 2018, weather permitting. The $70 million project is funded under the Australian Government's Bridges Renewal Program, jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland Governments.