Early work on the Cooroy-to-Curra upgrade.
Early work on the Cooroy-to-Curra upgrade. Craig Warhurst

Queensland welcomes $10 billion in road promises

UPDATE: Queensland's Bruce Highway and Gateway Motorway will receive almost $10 billion under a Federal Coalition plan to save lives and improve the state's major economic lifeline.

Premier Campbell Newman and Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson welcomed the record 10-year boost which delivers more than 70 major projects to improve capacity, safety and flood mitigation.

"The Federal Coalition's promise would be the largest investment ever in the Bruce Highway and would let us get on and significantly improve the highway," Mr Newman said.

"Whether you live in Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, Rockhampton, Bundaberg, Maryborough, Gympie, the Sunshine Coast or Brisbane, improvements will be coming to your local section of the Bruce Highway under the Federal Coalition.

"Tony Abbott and Warren Truss have proven they are committed to bringing one of the worst national highways up to a standard that will support Queensland tourism, agriculture, resources and construction."

The promise will include $7.7 billion from the Federal Coalition, including $1 billion for the upgrade to the Gateway Motorway between Nudgee and the Bruce Highway.

A further $2.1 billion will be funded by the State Government, including the Queensland LNP's promise of an additional $1 billion.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson said the funding would deliver improved safety, capacity and flood mitigation on the Bruce Highway.

"This will include additional lanes on the Sunshine Coast, construction of the Mackay Ring Road, duplication south of Cairns and key projects near Rockhampton.

"There will also be crucial safety measure including wider centre lines, audible edge lines, more overtaking lanes and intersection upgrades.

Opposition unveils big dollars to upgrade the Bruce Highway

THE Bruce Hwy will receive an almost $7 billion upgrade under an LNP federal government, the Opposition has announced.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott and Shadow Minister for Transport and Infrastructure  Warren Truss today announced a major package to upgrade the Bruce Hwy.

The upgrade will  extend the four lanes north to Gympie and south from Cairns to Gordonvale, and include  ringroads in Mackay, Townsville and Rockhampton as well as planning for other bypasses.

Mr Truss said the projects were part of the biggest commitment ever made to improve the Bruce Hwy.

Under the plan the Federal Government would contribute $6.7 billion and the State Government $1.8 billion to the package.

"The Coalition is serious about fixing the Bruce," Mr Truss said.

"A Liberal Nationals government will invest almost $2 billion to fund projects that increase the carrying capacity and improve the safety of the Bruce Highway through the Wide Bay electorate," Mr Truss said.

"This announcement will deliver a four-lane, floodproof road all the way from Brisbane to the edge of Gympie.

It will also rebuild the Bruce Highway / Fraser Coast interchange at Tinana, improve flood immunity at Tiaro, and upgrade the Saltwater Creek crossing at Aldershot.

"The Cooroy to Curra projects to be funded include $997.39 million for Section C, which extends the four lanes from Traveston Road to Keefton Road, and constructing the announced $696 million Section A project, which completes the missing four lane link from Cooroy to Sankeys Rd.

"As Section A nears completion, a Coalition Government will commence construction of Section C. We will also commit $50 million towards the planning and design of Section D - the Gympie bypass.

"Once completed, the Coalition's upgrade will fix one of the most dangerous and deadly sections of the national highway. It will help traffic to flow smoothly and safely, and increase the efficiency of the route for all motorists.

"Unlike Labor, which has squandered time and opportunity by failing to commit to all stages of the Cooroy to Curra project, the Coalition will get the job done."

Mr Truss said the Coalition will also fund a $38 million reconstruction of the Bruce Hwy / Maryborough interchange at Tinana. The intersection was the site of a tragic truck crash which resulted in the loss of two lives.

"The interchange is an unsafe monstrosity which makes an unfitting entrance to one of Queensland's premier tourism destinations. Maryborough and Hervey Bay will benefit from a redesigned interchanged that will enhance the appeal of the Fraser Coast to motorists travelling along the highway.

"The Coalition will also spend $103 million to upgrade the Saltwater Creek crossing at Aldershot which often cuts the Bruce Highway in times of flood. This will ensure that Highway traffic can access Maryborough in severe weather.

"Flood immunity at Tiaro will also be improved by a $107 million upgrade to the Black Swamp and Chinaman Creek crossings."

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