Get around this Wide Bay safety upgrade

Works are wrapping up on a major safety improvement at the intersection of the Bruce and Wide Bay highways.

Construction to deliver a roundabout at the intersection of the highways will be completed in the coming weeks.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce said completion of the jointly funded project would be welcomed by motorists and residents who called for the important upgrade.

"This upgrade is part of the Australian Government's commitment to ensure our regional highways are efficient, safe and suited to the current and predicted future traffic volumes using them,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

"The project has delivered a single-lane roundabout to improve safety for Wide Bay Highway motorists, where a large number of heavy-vehicle drivers enter the flow of traffic on the Bruce Highway.

"This is a project that residents and motorists have asked for and it’s great to see it completed and operating efficiently.”

Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the works would make Queensland’s busiest highway a safer place to drive.

"This section of the Bruce Highway sees thousands of drivers each day, so helping to keep that traffic moving will be welcomed by many in the community,” Mr Bailey said.

"Additional safety upgrades between Meadows Lane and the Wide Bay Highway includes the installation of guard rail, as well as improvements at the two Spring Valley Road intersections.

"This upgrade complements the other important safety works currently underway at other locations along the Bruce Highway.”

Federal Member for Wide Bay and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Llew O’Brien said the upgrade is a much-needed step forward in both safety and traffic management.

"This intersection was notorious for long delays and queues with traffic turning onto the Bruce Highway during peak times, so the upgrade is another example of the Australian Government listening to the community and taking action to improve road safety,” Mr O’Brien said.

"This upgrade will enable the smooth, safe and efficient flow of Wide Bay Highway traffic turning right, improve travel times for freight and general traffic, and most importantly, make the intersection safer for all drivers.

"In conjunction with the Gympie Bypass which is now under construction, it will keep traffic and freight moving, keep communities connected, and benefit Wide Bay and everyone who uses this section of the Bruce Highway.

"It also created about 40 jobs throughout construction, supporting Wide Bay’s economic recovery and demonstrates the Australian Government’s record $110 billion infrastructure investment plan in action.”

Queensland Assistant Regional Roads Minister Bruce Saunders said construction was also well underway to the north and south of the intersection on the $1 billion Gympie Bypass.

"The next big project for the area is the Gympie Bypass which will create a huge number of economic opportunities for the region over the next four years,” Mr Saunders said.

“The project will create about 576 jobs, and I want local workers to put their hands up for these roles.

“This will be the biggest infrastructure project Gympie and the Wide Bay region has seen, transforming our economy and supporting local businesses at the same time.

"Building a four-lane divided highway will make the road safer, get locals and tourists home faster, and make it easier for the freight industry.”

The $14 million intersection upgrade forms part of the Bruce Highway Upgrade Program and is jointly funded, with the Australian Government contributing $11.2 million and the Queensland Government contributing $2.8 million.

An additional $4.29 million has also been allocated, jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland governments, for the safety improvements along the Bruce Highway between Meadows Lane and the Wide Bay Highway.

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

Media contact:

Deputy Prime Minister – Antony Perry | 0477 971 654 | Antony.Perry@infrastructure.gov.au

Minister Bailey – Toby Walker | 0439 347 875 | toby.walker@ministerial.qld.gov.au