Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Far North’s largest road project set to open

A critical piece of Far North Queensland’s biggest and most complex road and rail infrastructure project has been officially commissioned, marking the final step towards the completion of the project.

The $535 million Bruce Highway – Cairns Southern Access Corridor (Stage 3) – Edmonton to Gordonvale project is delivering long-term improvements to traffic flow and road safety through reducing congestion and highway travel times, and improving road access and active transport networks.

Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister, Mark Bailey said today’s commissioning of the Menmuny Overpass, which spans 141 metres, is a significant milestone for the project.

“This project – Far North Queensland’s biggest and most complex – will deliver significant improvements to safety and connectivity, has reduced congestion and highway travel time on the Bruce Highway, as well as improved active transport networks.”

“The new highway will future-proof this section of the Cairns Southern Access Corridor for years to come,” said Mr Bailey.

It will open to motorists by Friday (18 August), providing safe access to the highway – north, south, east and west.

Construction of the 10.5-kilometre section of newly duplicated and upgraded Bruce Highway between Edmonton to Gordonvale – the busiest two-lane section of Bruce Highway between Cairns and Brisbane – began in May 2020.

More than 200 million hours of work has been undertaken on the project and involved more than 300 local suppliers and contractors.

In addition to upgrading and duplicating the highway, the project will also deliver:

  • A new intersection and two upgraded intersections
  • More than eight kilometres of upgraded local roads (8.9 kilometres)
  • New road and rail bridges at Wrights Creek and Stoney Creek
  • Cycleway bridge at Collinson Creek
  • 10.4 kilometres of cycleway
  • Twenty-seven kilometres of drainage
  • Three new pedestrian crossing facilities, including a pedestrian overpass
  • A rail track upgrade and realignment of 4.5 kilometres of the Queensland Rail North Coast Line

The $535 million Edmonton to Gordonvale project is funded by the Australian and Queensland governments under the Bruce Highway Upgrade Program, with the Australian Government committing $428.01 million and the Queensland Government $106.99 million.

“The joint venture contractors, John Holland, Seymour Whyte and AECOM are proud to have delivered Far North Queensland’s largest infrastructure project. The collaboration between our teams and the local subcontractors have made this fantastic achievement possible,” said Joint Venture Contractor Project Manager, Natasha Roy, Project Manager E2G (Operations Manager John Holland)

“We have received support from the local community, from farmers to local businesses and residents, all understanding the disruptions from the construction because they knew it would result in a significant improvement of their future travel to and from Cairns.

“The sustainable construction methodologies used during the works have been recognised across the industry. The team was also conscious of the significant heritage and sensitive areas surrounding us, and implemented high standards of controls to ensure the project would be delivered with no harm to the land or the environment.”

The project will fully open to motorists by the end of August 2023, with remaining minor works to be completed in September 2023.

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