New overtaking lanes to save hundreds of Coast lives
THE introduction of overtaking lanes on the Bruce Highway in Tinana could drastically reduce the number of lives lost on Fraser Coast roads.
Federal member for Wide Bay Llew O'Brien announced on Tuesday the Commonwealth would spend $13.3million in upgrading the Bruce Highway to include overtaking lanes both north and south of the Tinana interchange.
"This has been identified as an area of need particularly coming off such a good section of road," he said.
"We've just spent $36million on the Tinana interchange (so) leading out of that we don't want people coming from a high standard of road onto something that is sub-standard when it comes to overtaking opportunities.
"We've got an area where traffic goes from a very well-constructed piece of road to what is a narrow section of road and we need to fix it."
The overtaking lanes would be approximately 2km long from the Tinana interchange to Central Rd and be divided by dividing lane technology to help prevent head on collisions.
Mr O'Brien said such collisions were the primary cause of fatalities in the area.
"We have too many people dying on our roads," Mr O'Brien said.
"Regional lives are just as important as any other lives so we need to spend money on these regions."
The $13.3million is part of the $275million overtaking lane program the Commonwealth is running which is also part of the $8.7billion Bruce Highway upgrade package over the next 10 years.
Mr O'Brien acknowledged issues which arose with surrounding businesses during the construction of the Tinana interchange.
Some local businesses felt the pressure due to road closures.
"There will be an extensive phase of public consultation so people will know exactly what is happening and when it is happening," he said.
"We ask for the same cooperation we had during the Tinana interchange."
While road upgrades played a significant part in road safety, Mr O'Brien said drivers had their own important role.
"We can't construct a four lane world class piece of road on every arterial road and back road so drivers need to remember the fatal five,' he said.
"They need to always drive with care, keep your speed down, don't drink and drive, wear a seatbelt and don't drive tired."
The detailed design and consultation was expected to be completed by the end of the year with construction to commence around the same time.