A joint venture has been awarded the contract for the $74.99 million Capricorn Highway duplication project between Rockhampton and Gracemere, which aims to increase the roads capacity and reduce travel times.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the project will see reduced travel times particularly in the peak traffic times in the morning and afternoon.
“This project, which is part of the $600 million Northern Australia Roads program, will support the economic development of northern Australia by improving the movement of freight and people,” Mr McCormack said.
Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey said during the next six months, the contractor would progress the project design, with construction expected to begin mid-2019.
‘We are seeking innovative design options for the project ahead of construction starting,” Mr Bailey said.
“This process will focus on optimising traffic solutions for the region and involve extensive community consultation.”
Federal Member for Flynn Ken O’Dowd said the Capricorn Highway was Central Queensland’s principal east-west freight corridor, linking the Capricorn Coast to Outback Queensland.
“This is why the Capricorn Highway upgrade is significant for Central Queensland, as it will improve a vital connection for freight and commuter traffic between Rockhampton and Gracemere,” Mr O’Dowd said.
“The upgrade will improve travel times with the reinstatement of a 100 kilometre-an-hour speed limit, improve access to Rockhampton during moderate floods and freight productivity for vehicles accessing Rockhampton.”
Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry said recent traffic growth across Gracemere had resulted in traffic volumes on this section of the Capricorn Highway exceeding 18,000 vehicles per day.
“This project will help ease traffic congestion as it will deliver a four-lane highway between Rockhampton and Gracemere as well as vital intersection upgrades at Nelson Street, Fairy Bower Road, McLaughlin Street and Gavial-Gracemere Road.
“It will also make the road safer for cyclists and pedestrians as the upgrades will separate them from fast-moving traffic,” said Ms Landry.
The Federal Government has committed $59.99 million to the project, alongside $15 million form the Queensland Government. It is estimated the project will support around 187 jobs over the life of the duplication.