Media Release: Bruce Safety Upgrades at Bluewater Take Shape

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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

Bruce Safety Upgrades at Bluewater Take Shape

A $20 million-plus safety package for the Bruce Highway north of Townsville is nearing completion with the reopening of the Bluewater Drive intersection following a five-month closure.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said he was pleased to see progress being made on site to improve safety for motorists.

“Works included lengthening the right turning lane on the Bruce Highway and widening the Bluewater Drive approach to the intersection, as well as improving line marking to better delineate the turning lanes,” Mr McCormack said.

“Works have also been completed on the new southbound overtaking lane on the Bruce Highway between Two Mile Creek and Sleeper Log Creek north of the Forestry Road intersection.

“Creating safer overtaking opportunities is part of the Federal Government’s overall strategy to improve the Bruce Highway.”

Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said crews would now focus their attention on completing a vital safety upgrade to the Forestry Road and Toolakea Beach Road cross intersection.

“With 14 reported crashes in the past five years, including two resulting in fatalities, the Bruce Highway intersection at Forestry and Toolakea Beach roads will be split into two,” Mr Bailey said.

“Creating safer roads for North Queensland is a top priority for the Queensland Government, which is why we’re building on our $790 million delivered for local roads since 2015 with a further $1.5 billion to upgrade the region’s roads and transport.

“The project has also been a boost for the local economy, with more than 60 jobs supported over the life of this project.”

The former cross intersection will become two staggered t-intersections stopping vehicles from attempting crossings four lanes of the Bruce Highway to get from Forestry Road to Toolakea Beach Road.

Federal Member for Herbert Phil Thompson said along with better safety, the project has delivered a boost in local jobs.

“This a great result for the local community,” Mr Thompson said. “As well as benefitting the economy, this project will go a long way to reducing the chance of terrible accidents.”

“Soon we’ll see work start on duplicating another section between Veales Road and Pope Road, including a new bridge over Black River – also improving safety on the Bruce Highway.”

The projects are part of the 15-year Bruce Highway Upgrade Program, a $12.6 billion program of works to improve safety, flood resilience and capacity along the Bruce Highway from Brisbane to Cairns.

With Bluewater Drive opening, the nearby Feldt Street intersection will be permanently closed reducing the number of intersections along the busy stretch of the Bruce and reducing the risk of collisions.

Access to the area and school from the Bruce Highway will now be via the Bluewater Drive intersection and Ditton Street, which has been extended to join up with Bluewater Drive.

The $22.1 million package includes $16 million of safety upgrades, jointly funded as part of the $1.01 billion Bruce Highway Safety Package, with the Australian Government contributing $12.8 million and the Queensland Government contributing $3.2 million and a $6.1 million overtaking lane project, fully funded by the Australian Government’s $275 million Overtaking Lane Package.

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