$170 million Yeppen Floodplain project commissioned

Media Release

WT425/2015

11 December 2015

Joint release with:

Bill Byrne

Member for Rockhampton, Minister for Police Fire and Emergency Services and Corrective Services

Michelle Landry

Member for Capricornia

Ken O'Dowd

Member for Flynn

The landmark Yeppen Floodplain project on Rockhampton's southern outskirts will be officially commissioned today, substantially improving the Bruce Highway's ability to remain open during major floods.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said the $170 million project included the construction of 2.1 kilometres of new bridges across the Yeppen Floodplain, as well as major intersection upgrades.

“Today's commissioning of the Yeppen South project, particularly its 1.6 kilometre bridge across the floodplain—the longest on the Bruce Highway—is a milestone event for central Queensland,” Mr Truss said.

“Cyclones and flooding are an acknowledged risk for Queensland and the state has shown its resilience in responding to more than its share of natural disasters in recent years.

“Here in Central Queensland, during times of natural disasters the Yeppen Floodplain has proven to be a weak link in the Bruce Highway.

“It was only as recently as 2012 that the highway was cut at the Yeppen Floodplain for nearly two weeks, resulting in millions of dollars of economic losses through reduced tourism and industry productivity and general disruption to the northern half of Queensland.

“With the Yeppen bridges open, access to the south of Rockhampton is now assured in all flooding scenarios up to a one-in-100-year event.”

Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry said the central feature of the Yeppen Floodplain project is the two new bridges, each more than three metres higher than the existing floodplain crossing.

“The full scope of the project however encompasses much more than just the bridges,” Ms Landry said.

“The existing Bruce Highway has been completely rebuilt between the Yeppen roundabout and Scrubby Creek and the Egan Street intersections at Egan's Hill have undergone major safety upgrades.

“The major Bruce Highway and Burnett Highway intersection has also seen significant flood immunity improvements and increased intersection capacity, with the addition of a slip-lane for motorists travelling into Rockhampton.”

Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd said the majority of the permanent construction workforce was recruited locally in Central Queensland.

“The project also called in the services of many local subcontractors over its life,” Mr O'Dowd said.

Queensland Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services and Minister for Corrective Services and Member for Rockhampton Bill Byrne said the project was completed and open to traffic in just two years.

“This is a great achievement for everyone involved, including the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads project team, AECOM who oversaw site operations, and contractor John Holland,” Mr Byrne said.

“The Yeppen South project has provided a much-needed boost for the local and broader Queensland economy with an average of 200 direct jobs supported over the life of the project.”

The Australian Government contributed $136 million and the Queensland Government $34 million, towards the $170 million project.