Major works have started on the Haughton River Floodplain Upgrade project on the Bruce Highway at Giru, south of Townsville.
Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Minister Michael McCormack said the $514.3 million program of works was jointly funded by the Federal and State governments.
“We’ll be building several longer and higher bridges on the Bruce Highway, improving safety at rural intersections and upgrading roughly 13.5km of road,” Mr McCormack said.
“These upgrades will significantly reduce the severity and frequency of weather-related highway closures in this area; which currently impact road users every one to two years.
“Upon completion, this section will be safer and more flood-immune, with improved visibility and a reduced risk of head-on collisions.”
State Transport and Main Roads Minister, Mark Bailey, said preliminary works being delivered by Queensland’s Department of Transport and Main Roads had been ongoing since mid-last year.
“Crews started preliminary activities such as land clearing, geotechnical drilling and service relocations late last year before the wet season arrived,” Mr Bailey said.
“As we all saw, the record rainfall in February caused widespread damage and tested our road network, so now the wet season is behind us, we will ramp up construction works over coming months.”
State Member for Thuringowa, Aaron Harper, said the project benefits would extend further than just road users, with works over the next two years expected to support 544 jobs.
“The principal contractor, The Infrastructure Group, has committed to giving opportunities to local industry and to using local labour wherever possible,” Mr Harper said.
The project is due to be completed in mid-2021.