Floods to be mitigated with design phase commencing on Sandy Gully Bridge upgrade

Media Release

WT126/2015

05 May 2015

Joint release with:

Mark Bailey

Queensland Minister for Main Roads, Road Safety and Ports

George Christensen

Federal Member for Dawson

Coralee O'Rourke

Minister for Disability Services,
Minister for Seniors,
Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland

Progress towards a more flood resistant Bruce Highway is continuing with Aurecon Australasia selected to commence the detailed design phase of the $57 million Sandy Gully Bridge upgrade project.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said the upgrade near Bowen will deliver a road able to withstand a one in 50 year flood event.

“The Australian Government is committed to delivering jobs, economic growth and productivity improvements to all Australians and this project delivers on that commitment,” Mr Truss said.

Member for Dawson George Christensen said the upgraded bridge will help secure growth in the region's economy for years to come.

“This particular section of the Bruce Highway is regularly closed during bad weather, which has a serious effect on locals, tourists and heavy vehicles travelling through the region,” Mr Christensen said.

“That includes freight operators shifting coal and agricultural produce to domestic and international markets, many of which are reliant on timeliness to remain competitive.

“For freight operators travelling to Abbot Point Port this upgrade will be a boon for their business operations, minimising the risk of bad weather halting their operations.”

Queensland Minister for Main Roads, Road Safety and Ports Mark Bailey said the extensive upgrades will deliver a safer and more reliable road network for local industries, businesses and the broader community.

“As an added bonus these works will provide more than 100 direct jobs for local workers over the life of this project. It couldn't have come at a better time with jobs and job security more important than ever,” Mr Bailey said.

“The 3.6 kilometre section will see a new two lane bridge being constructed and improvements to two key intersections.”

Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland Coralee O'Rourke said that, between the job opportunities for residents and improved road access, the region will be much stronger as a result of the project.

“Coal and local produce are major commodities in the region and the Bruce Highway at Sandy Gully is a crucial link between Bowen and Abbot Point,” Mrs O'Rourke said.

Construction on this project is expected to commence in mid-2016. The Australian Government has committed $46 million to the jointly funded project, with the Queensland Government funding the remaining $11 million.