THE Mackay Ring Road project reached a major milestone last week after CPB Contractors was announced as the successful tenderer to build Stage 1 of the project, which involves an 11.3-kilometre highway to divert traffic from the Bruce Highway at Stockroute Road to the Bald Hill Road intersection.
Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said construction was due to start in the coming weeks and continue for several years. Stage 1 of the project is being funded by the Australian Government ($397.9 million) and Queensland Government ($99.4 million).
"The Australian Government is investing almost $400 million in the Mackay Ring Road project as part of our 10-year, $8.5 billion joint commitment to fix the Bruce Highway," Mr Chester said.
"The ring road is going to be a game-changer for the region, by enhancing the capacity, safety and efficiency of the highway and reducing travel times for vehicles going through Mackay by 50 per cent and port-bound fuel and sugar trucks by 20 to 30 per cent."
Key features of Stage 1 of the Mackay Ring Road 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 100m diameter) at each end.
CIMIC Group Chief Executive Officer Adolfo Valderas described Stage 1 of the Mackay Ring Road project as a quality, sustainable infrastructure solution that will enhance travel efficiency and safety for motorists, and serve as a vital upgrade to the national road network.
"CIMIC Group and CPB Contractors take a disciplined approach to bidding for and delivering work. Our strategy delivers innovative and cost-effective projects for our clients, strengthens regional economies and better connects communities," Mr Valderas said.
Stage 2 of the Mackay Ring Road – which includes the construction of a 2-lane rural highway from Bruce Highway North Intersection to Harbour Road - is not expected to be required for another ten to 15 years.