The Hon Michael McCormack MP
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development
Leader of The Nationals
Federal Member for Riverina
Phillip Thompson OAM MP
Federal Member for Herbert
The Hon Mark Bailey
QLD Minister for Transport and Main Roads
State Member for Miller
Additional Funding for Safety Upgrade at Black River
Additional funding has been committed to improve the safety of a notorious section of the Bruce Highway at Black River.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said increasing the total commitment towards the Townsville Northern Access Intersections Upgrade project from $72 million to $107.65 million would allow the delivery of the best traffic solution to increase safety standards.
“The project proposes to duplicate 5.2 kilometres of the Bruce Highway between Veales Road and Pope Road, including building another bridge over Black River and reduce the number of intersections,” Mr McCormack said.
“Projects such as this demonstrate the Australian Government’s commitment to improving safety right along the Bruce Highway, especially in the state’s north.
“It all forms part of our record $100 billion pipeline of infrastructure projects across the nation getting Australians to where they need to be, sooner and safer.”
Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey said residents had expressed concerns about the safety of some of the intersections and indicated preference for safer, alternative access from service roads to other intersections.
“This stretch of the Bruce caters for an average 14,000 vehicles every day, with a majority of these being residents living in the city’s northern beaches,” Mr Bailey said.
“While Queensland as a whole saw the lowest number of road fatalities ever, North Queensland was unfortunately overrepresented.”
$8.75 million of early works were completed in 2016 to address the most urgent safety issues on the northern side of the bridge.
Federal Member for Herbert Phillip Thompson said while they had been a good interim measure, more upgrades were required.
“For me, the most important aspect of these works is safety. This is an extremely important and busy road used by both locals and freight traffic,” Mr Thompson said.
“Locals, in particular, want to have confidence that they can get to work, the school drop-off and our northern beaches safely and on time and once completed this project will make these trips safer and more reliable.”
The detailed design phase will begin shortly, with construction expected to commence in 2021.
The Australian Government has committed $86.12 million towards the $107.65 million Townsville Northern Access Intersections Upgrade project, with the Queensland Government committing $21.53 million.