Upgraded Saltwater Creek Bridge opens to highway traffic

A new higher two-lane bridge on the Bruce Highway at Saltwater Creek has opened to this week, providing a more flood-resilient route for commuters.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey and Member for Maryborough Bruce Saunders visited the new bridge near Aldershot.

The Premier said the new bridge forms part of broader flood resilience upgrades being delivered along the Bruce Highway between Maryborough and Torbanlea including a new bridge at Deadmans Gully which opened in July.

“This $103 million package of works along an 11-kilometre stretch of the Bruce is making it more safer and flood resilient for motorists,” the Premier said.

“Heavy rainfall and localised flooding during weather events can often result in highway closures along this stretch, the Premier said.

“In 2013, the flood event caused by ex-Cyclone Oswald closed the Bruce here at Saltwater Creek for more than 30 hours.

“It great to see the upgraded Saltwater Creek Bridge now open to traffic and important work continuing on upgrading the remaining four floodways, as well as nearby strengthening works on the Bruce Highway, which are expected to be completed later this year.

“My government is committed to building a bigger, better Bruce, and this project is just one more example of that.”

Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Catherine King said she was thrilled to see the new, high-level bridge completed early.

“The Saltwater Creek Bridge is now able to be used by locals and visitors alike, improving flood immunity and safety along this stretch of the Bruce Highway,” the Minister said.

“The bridge’s new alignment has been built to keep Queensland communities along the Bruce Highway better connected.

“We’re investing in infrastructure projects like this right along the Bruce Highway that will deliver an immediate economic boost by reducing flood-related highway closures, along with long-term safety and connectivity benefits.”

Queensland Assistant Minister for Regional Roads and Member for Maryborough Bruce Saunders said the upgrade is supporting good jobs in the community.

“The $103 million package is supporting 286 jobs,” he said.

“Despite wet weather, crews onsite have done a tremendous job to make progress on this important flood resilience project.

“The new bridge will be welcomed news for locals, having experienced flooding multiple times this year and will help keep communities connected.”

Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey said the package of works is part of the Bruce Highway Upgrade Program.

“This is the largest road infrastructure program in Queensland, delivering $13 billion of works over a 15-year period (2013-14 to 2027-28),” he said.

“The program is improving safety, flood resilience and capacity along the highway between Brisbane and Cairns and is jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland governments on an 80:20 basis.

“Our record budget this year invests over $18 billion across regional Queensland, while supporting 16,200 good jobs in regional centres, showing our commitment to deliver for all of Queensland.”

The $103 million project is jointly funded under the Bruce Highway Upgrade Program, with the Australian Government contributing $82.4 million and the Queensland Government contributing $20.6 million.

For more information, contact Queensland Transport and Main Roads on 1300 728 390 during business hours, or email bundaberg.office@tmr.qld.gov.au.