The joint venture of Fulton Hogan and SMEC, including local worker have begun construction of the $75 million Capricorn Highway duplication.
The state government estimates more than 108 local jobs will be created by the 5.2 kilometre four-lane upgrade from Rockhampton to Gracemere.
The start of these works coincides with the halfway mark on the $157 million Bruce Highway upgrade north of Rockhampton.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the project was part of the Northern Australia Roads Program, which supports the movement of people and freight in northern Australia.
“The Capricorn Highway is Central Queensland’s main east-west freight corridor and is a nationally significant route, so I am pleased to be working closely with the Queensland Government to duplicate it for the benefit of businesses, primary producers and local communities,” Mr. McCormack said.
Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz said the duplication would improve road safety through reducing the risk of head-on crashes, as the need for high-risk overtaking manoeuvres would be reduced.
“Upgrading the Capricorn Highway will support freight connectivity throughout the central and western Queensland regions,” Mr. Buchholz said.
The $74.99 million Capricorn Highway Duplication project is jointly funded, with the Australian Government committing $59.99 million and the Queensland Government $15 million. It is expected to be completed by early 2021, weather permitting.