Safer intersection on the way for Blackwater

The Capricorn Highway and Ardurad Road (Blackwater-Rolleston Road) intersection is about to undergo a $6.24 million overhaul, making it safer for Blackwater locals, tourists and freight transport.

The project is jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland governments with $3.5 million through the Road Safety Program, with an additional $2.74 million coming from the state-funded Targeted Road Safety Program.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce said the Australian Government is committed to investing in regional Queensland, delivering road safety treatments on rural and regional roads and providing better protection for vulnerable road users.

“The Aurizon rail line, which crosses Ardurad Road near the intersection, provides a critical service to the coal mining industry,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

“This intersection upgrade will improve freight efficiency and the overall safety for both road and rail users near this section of the Capricorn Highway.

“The Capricorn Highway forms part of Australia’s Key Freight Road Network and Queensland’s Priority Freight Network, connecting the Bruce Highway in the east and the Landsborough Highway in the west.”

Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the project is part of a $174.7 million package of road safety projects fast tracked to support Queensland’s Covid-19 economic recovery plan over the next 12-months.

“The Palaszczuk Government is focused on making roads safer, while creating more jobs,” Mr Bailey said.

“The upgrade will see the installation of traffic signals and the provision of protected, right-turn lanes into Ardurad Road and Mackenzie Street.

“This is a key road for the local freight industry, so this upgrade will support these local businesses into the future, and make it safer for locals.”

Federal Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz said the Federal Government is committed to keeping our communities safe, while securing our economic recovery.

"Road Safety Program funding supports the fast roll-out of life-saving safety works on rural and regional roads,” Mr Buchholz said.

“The funding is offered to states and territories on a ‘use it or lose it’ basis in six-month tranches to ensure rapid delivery.

“This announcement is another example of the Federal Government working to reduce the number of Australians missing around the dinner table due to tragedies on our roads.”

Queensland Assistant Regional Roads Minister Bruce Saunders the upgrade is another example of the Palaszczuk Government investing in regional Queensland.

“We’re delivering a $1.475 billion investment in transport and roads infrastructure for the Fitzroy District over the next four years, estimated to support an average of 1,340 direct jobs,” Mr Saunders said.

“Just recently we saw the completion of the $75 million Capricorn Highway duplication, between Rockhampton and Gracemere, that has improved travel time between the communities.

“Investments like these increase the safety of the Queensland road network and help reduce fatalities.”

Federal Member for Flynn Ken O’Dowd said the upgrades will be beneficial for freight transport.

“Over six million tonnes of freight are transported on the Capricorn Highway annually,” Mr O’Dowd said.

“Certain areas of the highway have some of the highest oversized vehicle traffic counts in Queensland. These upgrades will benefit the community by providing safer roads and making high-risk overtaking manoeuvres less common – leading to a lower risk of head-on crashes and improved interactions between freight and local traffic.”

Mr Saunders thanked the Blackwater community for their patience as work gets underway.

“Over the next four years the Palaszczuk Government is delivering a record $27.5 billion roads and transport plan which is creating 24,000 jobs and driving Queensland economic recovery from COVID-19,” he said.

“This includes delivering $17.5 billion worth of project across regional Queensland just like this one.

“I remind everyone to drive carefully through the work zone and be aware of changed traffic conditions."

The project is expected to be completed by mid-2022.

For up-to-date information on roadworks and other traffic information for all state-controlled roads, visit www.qldtraffic.qld.gov.au or call 13 19 40.

More information on the Road Safety Program and other federal road safety initiatives is available at www.officeofroadsafety.gov.au.