THE Australian and Queensland governments last week said the Mackay Ring Road—Stage 1 project has reached its next major milestone, with expressions of interest now being called for the construction tender of the $565 million project.
Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Darren Chester said construction of the Mackay Ring Road is part of the Australian Government's commitment to fix the Bruce Highway.
"The record investment in the Bruce Highway is already saving lives and improving travel times. The Australian and Queensland governments are working together to deliver an $8.5 billion package of works on this key national freight route," Mr Chester said.
"The project is estimated to support an average of 600 jobs, reduce travel times between Brisbane and Cairns, and improve driving conditions for local motorists. I am delighted to see the next milestone reached as we work toward a safer road network."
Key features of Stage 1 include:
- Construction of a 2-lane rural highway with a length of approximately 11.3 kilometres;
- 80km/h and 100km/h speed limit with no traffic signals (avoiding 10 existing signalised intersections);
- Connections at Stockroute Road, the Peak Downs Highway and the Bruce Highway north;
- New river crossing over the Pioneer River and the Fursden Creek floodplain with 100 years flood immunity;
- Heavy vehicle and through traffic bypass of Mackay; and
- Dual lane roundabouts (approximately 100 metres in diameter) at each end.
Queensland Minister for Main Roads and Road Safety Mark Bailey said the project is the largest ever undertaken by the Queensland Government in the Mackay/Whitsunday region.
"It is a huge project totalling 11.3km in length. It includes the construction of 13 new bridges including overpasses, dual lane roundabouts at each end, and a new river crossing over the Pioneer River with a 100-year flood immunity," Mr Bailey said.
"The detailed design phase for the project is nearing completion and should be finalised by the end of 2016."
The Australian Government is contributing $448 million and the Queensland Government $117 million towards the $565 million project.