Haughton River Flooplain upgrade almost complete

The $500 million Haughton River Floodplain upgrade is surging towards completion, following the final traffic switch earlier this year.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce said this project is another example of George Christensen’s determination to deliver for people of this region, to make sure the infrastructure they need and deserve is funded and delivered.

“Thanks to projects like this, the Australian Government’s record $110 billion infrastructure investment plan is helping to connect communities and improve safety, while creating jobs and supporting our economic recovery,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

“The Australian Government is investing over $10 billion in a safer, smoother and more reliable Bruce Highway. This will benefit Queenslanders, from Brisbane to Cairns, on this key north-south route.”

Federal Member for Dawson George Christensen said the project is due to be complete later this year.

“North Queenslanders are all too familiar with flooding closing the Bruce Highway over the Reed Beds area, with this section of highway typically closing every couple of years during the wet season, forcing transport operators and the travelling public to wait for waters to recede,” Mr Christensen said.

“Traffic across the national network is now using a safer, more flood resilient crossing of the Reed Beds area.

“The Australian Government, in conjunction with the Queensland Government, has resolved this issue with the existing low-lying road replaced with a bridge, which is much more resilient to flooding.

“The Bruce Highway alignment across the Reed Beds was also reconfigured to improve safety.

“In addition to the previous traffic switches as part of this half-billion dollar upgrade, today’s switch means traffic is now using all 13.5 kilometres of new or upgraded highway.”

Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey said the project built on other upgrades underway on the Bruce Highway.

“The Queensland Government is investing a record $17.8 billion in regional roads and transport over the next four years, as well as more than 100 projects on the Bruce Highway in the pipeline,” Mr Bailey said.

“As a key connector for locals in the regions, and the backbone of Queensland’s freight industry, delivering upgrades on the Bruce Highway is a priority.

“Right now, a $481 million upgrade is underway on the Bruce Highway from Edmonton to Gordonvale in Cairns, which is supporting 466 jobs.

“And, we have $50 million in safety upgrades being delivered between Mackay and Proserpine.

“At Giru, the focus moving forward will be on completing local connection roads and demolishing existing bridges and road before final completion of the project.

“Locals will also notice the recently completed highway on and off ramps to Hodel Road and Shirbourne Road, which reinstate access to the area.”

Mr Bailey said the project continues to support local jobs and industries.

“The project has supported an average of 544 jobs over the project lifecycle,” he said.

State Member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper said the final stage of the project would see the intersection of Woodstock-Giru Road and the Bruce completed.

“Drivers have now been using the new bridge for about a month and are already reaping the benefits of a smoother, safer drive,” Mr Harper said.

“It’s great to see big projects like this supporting local jobs and industries – providing training opportunities for the next generation.

“This is a big win for locals now and well into the future.”

The $514.34 million Haughton River Floodplain Upgrade project is jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland governments on an 80:20 basis, representing commitments of $411.47 million and $102.87 million, respectively.

The project is due to be completed later this year.

Media contact:

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

Mr Bailey – Joe Ogilvie | 0423 184 412 | joseph.ogilvie@ministerial.qld.gov.au

Mr Christensen | (07) 4944 0662