THE four-laning of the Bruce Hwy to Gympie will be fast tracked, two tiers of government announced yesterday.
The welcome news comes in the wake of a campaign driven by The Gympie Times, Gympie police, Gympie ambulance chief Wayne Sachs and Gympie Regional Council to "Fast Track the Bruce Hwy". .
Acting Prime Minister Warren Truss and Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson will meet with Gympie LNP candidate Tony Perrett today to confirm the reconstruction of the 8.4km stretch of highway will be brought forward, with tenders to be called later this year.
Section C of the upgrade stretches from Traveston Rd to Keefton Rd. Under the original time frame on the Department of Transport and Main Roads for the bypass, design was supposed to be completed this year and construction to begin in 2016.
"Over the last decade, 82 crashes have occurred on this
section, involving seven fatalities, underlining the importance of fixing this section of the highway," Mr Truss said.
"A number of local residents, including LNP Gympie candidate (Mr) Perrett have raised safety concerns about this section, known as Cooroy to Curra Section C.
"We've now found the savings to bring this work forward by at least 12 months. This announcement follows our decision before Christmas to fast-track safety upgrades to the Keefton Rd intersection and to the access arrangements for the Golden Nugget service station."
A statement from Mr Emerson's office yesterday said the Federal Coalition and Queensland Government was working together on a 10-year, $8.5 billion deal to improve safety, capacity and flood mitigation works along the Bruce Hwy.
"When complete, the Bruce Hwy will be duplicated from Cooroy right through to a new interchange at Woondum Rd," Mr Emerson said.
"Further intersection works at Venardos Avenue and Six Mile Creek rest area will also be carried out ensuring families get home safely."
Mr Perrett said "only the LNP has a plan to deliver this job-creating infrastructure".
"Bringing the Section C project forward will mean families and local industry will benefit from a safer and quicker drive a lot sooner than expected," Mr Perrett said.
"As a Gympie councillor I know how important these works are to people in this area and I am often asked about the project while I am out talking to locals, business and families," he said.
"I'm pleased that both Warren and Scott have recognised just how important this work is and a Newman LNP Government will be in a position to see it delivered."
The $624.3 million Section C Bruce Hwy Upgrade between Cooroy and Curra is jointly funded, with the Australian Government contributing $499.4 million and the Queensland Government contributing $124.9 million.
Safety improvements near Keefton Rd intersection and Gold Nugget service station will begin shortly and form part of the entire upgrade
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