Central Queensland’s Walkerston Bypass road project has been ranked among the nation’s top priorities when it comes to infrastructure investment.
Infrastructure Australia has added the Peak Downs Highway Realignment Project (Walkerston Bypass) to the Infrastructure Priority List after a rigorous assessment of the project’s business case.
The $150 million Walkerston Bypass project includes a 10.4km realignment of the Peak Downs Highway, from west of Walkerston to the Mackay Ring Rd at Stockroute Rd.
Infrastructure Australia chief executive Romilly Madew described the project as a sound investment and one that recognised the Peak Downs Highway as a State Strategic road because of its importance to the Mackay and Queensland economies.
“The Peak Downs Highway, which currently runs through the township of Walkerston, is the primary freight corridor between Mackay, the Bowen Basin and Galilee Basin minerals provinces in Queensland,” Ms Madew said.
“Right now we know Walkerston is already dealing with serious safety, capacity and connectivity issues due to the sheer amount of heavy and dangerous vehicles that travel along this section of the highway and with freight numbers expected to increase, the impacts are only going to get worse.”
The bypass design will have one lane in each direction and be designed to accommodate vehicles with very large loads.
Other features of the proposed Walkerston Bypass include:
- about 1.5km of four-lane carriageway between Homebush Rd and Bergmans Rd to facilitate overtaking
- four at-grade intersections, including the existing Peak Downs Highway at the western end of the bypass
- grade separation at Bergman’s Rd and Walkerston-Homebush Rd
- four new bridges and relocation of cane rail infrastructure, including provision of underpass.
Tenders for construction are due to be called in mid-2020 and construction is scheduled to begin early next year.
The Infrastructure Priority List provides governments at all levels with a prioritised list of nationally-significant investment opportunities for the near, medium and longer term.