Congestion busting road upgrade revs up for Caloundra
A congestion-busting road upgrade is set to pave the way for reduced journey time for more than 100,000 people each day experiencing stop-start traffic at the Caloundra Road and Nicklin Way roundabout.
The Omrah Avenue to Nicklin Way upgrade project will provide a new connection from the Caloundra central business district to Nicklin Way north of the Caloundra Road roundabout.
The project will improve connectivity and travel choice while enabling traffic to enter the “City of Beaches” through an alternative access corridor.
The 1.6 km upgrade comprises two sections.
Section 1 will be funded by Sunshine Coast Council and is estimated to cost $19.6 million and involves widening Oval Avenue and Third Avenue from two to four traffic lanes and connecting Oval Avenue with Omrah Avenue.
Section 2 will connect Section 1 to Nicklin Way creating a new signalised intersection at Nicklin Way and providing an alternative access to the Caloundra central business district.
Section 2 is jointly funded by the three tiers of government, with the Australian Government committing $7 million, the Queensland Government $7 million and council $4.2 million.
Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson said the project would include a two-way cycle track, pedestrian pathways, a four-lane road with intersection improvements and streetscape planting.
“This integrated transport upgrade project is part of a long-term plan to provide better and safer access to and from Caloundra for public transport users, cyclists, pedestrians and motorists now and well into the future,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“This project has been the subject of numerous transport studies and careful planning over the past eight years and is now ready to progress to detailed design, thanks to the partnership between our Council and the Federal and State governments.”
Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, the Honourable Paul Fletcher MP, said the Australian Government was committing $7 million towards the upgrade, with funding announced in the recent 2021-22 Federal Budget.
“This project will see a new transport corridor connecting Nicklin Way to the CBD north of the Caloundra Road roundabout built in stages, improving connectivity and allowing traffic volumes to be distributed across two key access roads to the city,” Minister Fletcher said.
“This project will reduce congestion and bolster travel times for the Caloundra region and is part of our Government’s $110 billion, 10-year infrastructure pipeline which is securing Australia’s world-leading economic recovery.”
Federal Member for Fisher Andrew Wallace said that the new transport corridor would come as a welcome relief for long suffering residents trapped in congestion on Nicklin Way and Caloundra Road.
“I have been working hard for years for a real road solution which will make a difference to the total gridlock around the Nicklin Way roundabout. This Federal Government funding is the key which will unlock this long-standing headache for Sunshine Coast locals,” Mr Wallace said.
“With this funding, along with the more than $3.5 billion the Morrison Government is investing in Bruce Highway upgrades and Rail duplication in our region, we are making sure that Sunshine Coast locals can get to where they need to go sooner and safer.”
Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the project would provide a vital new connection to the booming Caloundra region, reduce congestion and improve accessibility.
“The Nicklin Way/Third Avenue intersection will create a new entry into Caloundra to provide more direct access for roads users heading to Mooloolaba,” Mr Bailey said.
“This is part of the Queensland Government’s infrastructure pipeline on the Sunshine Coast, which includes more than $3.9 billion worth of jointly funded road and rail upgrades supporting thousands of jobs.”
State Member for Caloundra Jason Hunt said the upgrade will deliver a much-needed boost for the rapidly growing community on the southern Sunshine Coast.
“It’ll reduce the volume of traffic entering the Caloundra Road, Nicklin Way and Pelican Waters Boulevard roundabout which will make travelling in and out of Caloundra easier and faster,” Mr Hunt said.
“It’s part of a broader package of works being delivered by the Queensland Government on the Sunshine Coast, including the $932 million Bruce Highway upgrade from Caloundra Road to the Sunshine Motorway, $320 million Mooloolah River Interchange, and $70 million Bell Creek Arterial Road.
“These works have a double effect, long term they improve travel times and movement across the region, while also creating thousands of jobs during construction, all helping to drive the Queensland Government’s plan for economic recovery.”
The Bruce Highway upgrade from Caloundra Road to the Sunshine Motorway, is being funded on an 80:20 split with the Australian Government contributing $745.6 million, while the Mooloolah River Interchange project is receiving $160 million from the Australian Government.
Council is working closely with nearby stakeholders and landowners to minimise impacts and ensure they are kept informed.
A series of drop-in sessions will be scheduled so the community can view the project’s concept design and speak directly with the project team.