A $12.6 million project to ensure the stability of the Kuranda Scenic Railway line kicked off today with crews beginning environmental and ecological assessments ahead of the complex works.
“Over the past five years geotechnical engineers have been monitoring and undertaking inspections to determine what works may be required to future proof the iconic railway line,” Queensland Treasurer Curtis Pitt said.
“Thirteen locations were identified as benefiting from reinforcement works and I’m pleased to see this $12.6 million project kicking off today.”
The Kuranda Scenic Railway was built more than 125 years ago and remains a popular tourist attraction in Far North Queensland.
Member for Barron River Craig Crawford said once the assessment works were completed, stabilisation works would begin on the line to minimise the risk of rock falls and landslides and reduce ongoing maintenance costs.
“Stabilisation work will include reinforcing cliff faces through the installation of rock fall barriers, protective mesh and netting, planting of trees and the upgrade of debris barriers,” Mr Crawford said.
“This project will ensure we future proof our iconic tourist attraction which is enjoyed by approximately 400,000 passengers each year.”
Also today Main Roads and Road Safety Minister Mark Bailey announced a $3.4 million commitment to build additional overtaking lanes between Mareeba and Kuranda to boost safety on the Kennedy Highway.
“The project is part of the Palaszczuk Government’s fully State funded $62 million Safer Roads Sooner (SRS) program, to improve road safety across Queensland,” Mr Bailey said.
“The new overtaking lane will be built on the Kennedy Highway between Kay and Davies Creek roads and the existing overtaking lane will be extended.
“The work is part of several road safety projects in the area and will benefit local motorists and heavy vehicle operators who use the road regularly, as well as tourists.”
Mr Bailey said works to remove large trees and dangerous roadside obstacles from the clear zone would also be carried out.
“The design work is nearing completion and construction is expected to be carried out during the 2016/17 financial year,” he said.