FUNDING of $50 million has been approved by the Australian and Queensland governments for the detailed design work on the section of the Bruce Highway between the Woondum Interchange and Curra.
Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Darren Chester last week said the Australian Government would contribute up to $40 million towards the planning and detailed design work of the Cooroy to Curra—Section D project.
"This section of the Bruce Highway will be the final part of the 61 kilometre upgrade between Cooroy and Curra, building on the Government's ongoing commitment to fix the Bruce Highway," Mr Chester said.
"The design of the new 26 kilometre section of the Bruce Highway includes a bypass of Gympie with the corridor running east of the town, close to the railway line until Old Maryborough Road, then through the edge of Curra State Forest.
"The detailed design phase of this project will allow for further refinements to the planning layout for Section D, and will produce the final project design layout."
Queensland Main Roads and Road Safety Minister Mark Bailey said the State Government was investing $10 million to ensure the Department of Transport and Main Roads was able to continue with the design process for Section D.
"The planning for Section D was finalised by my department in December 2015. With this additional funding, we can now go to market to find the most suitable design consultant," Mr Bailey said.
"The successful design consultant is expected to be announced in the coming months and the detailed design work is expected to be completed by late-2017—bringing us one step closer to being shovel ready.
"This final section of Cooroy to Curra, including a bypass of Gympie, will separate long distance from local traffic movements to allow the highway to function as a high-speed, high-volume corridor."
Federal Member for Wide Bay Warren Truss said the Cooroy to Curra upgrade was progressing well, with Section C major works due to commence construction shortly.
"The Cooroy to Curra—Section A project, which will realign 13.3 kilometres of the highway from Cooroy Southern Interchange to Sankeys Road, is also expected to be finished by late-2016, weather permitting," Mr Truss said.
The project is being jointly funded based on an 80:20 funding arrangement between the Australian and Queensland Government.