Yeppen South Rising Above the Floodplain

Media Release

WT132/2014

11 August 2014

Joint release with:

Scott Emerson

Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads

Michelle Landry

Federal Member for Capricornia

Just five months into construction, the Bruce Highway upgrade across the Yeppen Floodplain, south of Rockhampton, is making exceptional progress.

Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said motorists are watching first-hand the speed with which the 1.6km southern bridge is rising from the ground.

“Already, more than half of the 887 pylons that will hold the bridge between the Burnett Highway and the Yeppen roundabout have been put into place, creating what will be Queensland's second longest road bridge,” Mr Truss said.

“We know that during flood events the Bruce Highway south of Rockhampton can be cut for up to two weeks or more at a time, with major disruption to locals and massive economic consequences.

“To beat the floods, the fast pace of this upgrade is great news for the tourism and freight industries.”

Minister for Transport and Main Roads Scott Emerson said the rate of progress on the Yeppen South Bridge construction represents a major achievement.

“Being so far advanced at this stage of the upgrade means that we will be able to begin construction on the second bridge from the Yeppen roundabout to the Yeppen Lagoon bridge much sooner than expected,” Mr Emerson said.

“We are now planning to divert traffic off the existing highway in mid-September to allow construction to start.

“Realignment of traffic lanes is not expected to add to delays when travelling through the site, however motorists need to be mindful of the changed conditions.”

Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry said the first of more than 300 bridge girders had been cast at the Egans Hill manufacturing yard in July, marking a key milestone for the project.

“Traditionally, large components such as concrete bridge piles and girders are manufactured at established plants and transported to the project site,” Ms Landry said.

“This is the first infrastructure project in Central Queensland with a manufacturing yard established on site—this approach is saving on transportation costs as the yard is just metres from where bridge materials will be lifted into position.”

The $296 million Bruce Highway Upgrade at Yeppen South is jointly funded, with the Australian Government providing $236 million and the Queensland Government $60 million to the project.