The Queensland Government’s project for widening the Bruce Highway from four to six lanes between Caboolture and Steve Irwin Way, has been given the green light from Infrastructure Australia.
Infrastructure Australia Chief Executive Romilly Madew has announced that the 11 kilometre project will be added to the Infrastructure Priority List.
“In our rigorous assessment of the business case, we found the upgrade to be a sound investment that would not only reduce travel time and provide capacity for future growth, but also improve operational safety,” Ms. Madew said.
Ms. Madew said the Bruce Highway’s role in connecting regional centres and facilitating significant freight movement has been identified by Infrastructure Australia as a key regional priority for Queensland.
“With the populations of Moreton Bay and the Sunshine Coast anticipated to grow to more than 50 per cent higher than the 2011 levels by 2036, without intervention, the highway will be severely impacted by this ongoing urban expansion and Queensland’s increasing road freight,” Ms. Madew said.
According to Ms. Madew, the 2019 Australian Infrastructure Audit, released in August this year, found that this section of the Bruce Highway is expected to become the third most congested in South East Queensland by 2031.
“The 2019 Audit also calls out the critical need for asset maintenance and renewal of our transport networks,” Ms. Madew said.
“This upgrade is a good example of how improving existing assets can be a better use of funds while still generating significant future benefits.”
Ms Madew said the upgrade would also improve road safety outcomes on the Bruce Highway.
“Right now, this section of the highway has the highest crash rate of the 60-kilometre section between Pine River and Caloundra,” Ms. Madew said.
“Between 2012 and 2017, 52 crashes were recorded and as traffic increases we can only expect things to get worse. By 2031, crash rates are forecast to increase by 50 per cent.”