Work has begun on Australia’s first Diverging Diamond Interchange (DDI) as part of the $812.95 million Bruce Highway Upgrade between Caloundra Road and Sunshine Motorway.
Each will support two new bridges that will create the DDI, a design that has the ability to revolutionise the way large traffic volumes are managed according to the Federal Government.
Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey said the innovative design would reduce the number of vehicle conflict points and the potential for crashes by widening the highway to six lanes, along with major upgrades to the interchanges.
“Motorists traveling over the Bruce Highway will seamlessly cross over from the left carriageway to the right side, and then back again, with traffic movements controlled by synchronised signals at each end of the Caloundra Road interchange,” Mr Bailey said.
“Not only will the DDI improve traffic flows between the Bruce Highway, Steve Irwin Way and Caloundra Road, it will also significantly minimise environmental impacts and improve active transport connections,” he said.
Federal Member for Fisher Andrew Wallace said DDIs had been used with great success overseas, mainly in the United States, with almost 100 now operational worldwide.
“In Australia, the DDI is an emerging interchange design that responds to increasing demands for different ways of managing large traffic volumes and it is exciting that the Sunshine Coast is at the forefront of innovative engineering solutions for such a major road project,” Mr Wallace said.
Federal Member for Fairfax Ted O’Brien said the Federal and Queensland governments are committed to delivering the infrastructure the Sunshine Coast needed to reduce congestion and improve road safety.
“The interchange will progressively open during the construction period to enable the removal of the existing Caloundra Road overpass bridge. The DDI will be fully operational when the two new bridges are open and operating in conjunction with new on and off ramps at the interchange,” Mr O’Brien said.
Construction is expected to be completed in late 2020, weather permitting.
The project was funded with a $650.36 million investment from the Federal Government and a $162.59 million contribution from the Queensland Government.