The Peak Downs Highway in Queensland is being strengthened and widened, making it safer for Oversize Overmass (OSOM) vehicles and regular road users, according to the Deputy Prime Minister.
This development follows a series of road safety works which are now underway and valued at $11.5 million.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack, said the Wolfang Road intersection would be upgraded, along with three sections of the highway, between Tea Tree Creek bridge and Myall Creek crossing.
In addition to the highway widening and strengthening, two heavy vehicle bays will be upgraded and a new right turn at Wolfang Road intersection will reportedly improve safety for road train operators.
“The project is a partnership between the Australian and Queensland governments through the Australian Government’s Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program, which improves safety and productivity for heavy vehicle operators,” said McCormack.
Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister, Mark Bailey, said traffic volumes were expected to increase on the Peak Downs Highway.
“Just over three kilometres of road will be widened to nine metres, with one-metre shoulders, to increase separation between heavy vehicles, caravans and light vehicles,” said Bailey.
“Widening three sections will enable safer overtaking opportunities, so drivers don’t take unnecessary risks.
“We’re also tackling fatigue for heavy vehicle drivers by upgrading two informal stopping bays.”
Assistant Minister for Northern Australia and Federal Member for Capricornia, Michelle Landry, said the wider road would also enable safer overtaking opportunities.
“Discouraging drivers from taking unnecessary risks by providing adequate overtaking facilities is a key part of saving lives on the Peak Downs Highway,” said Landry.
“This is another example of the Australian Government working toward Vision Zero on our roads by investing in safety improvements – zero deaths and zero serious injuries is our ultimate goal.”
Queensland Assistant Minister for Regional Roads, Bruce Saunders, said upgrading Queensland’s regional roads and highways was critical to improving safety for communities and industries that drive them regularly.
“The areas serviced by the Peak Downs Highway are major contributors to our state’s economy,” said Saunders.
“Work on a $35 million upgrade of a 14km section of the Peak Downs Highway between Wuthung Road and Caval Ridge is due to wrap up in a few months.
“The project has supported over 100 jobs over the past year, so it’s good to see more work getting started on other sections of the highway now and supporting even more jobs.”
The $6 million strengthening and widening project is funded through the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program on a 50:50 split between the Australian and Queensland governments.
The $5.5 million Wolfang Road intersection upgrade is being delivered through the Road Safety Program on an 80:20 split.
RoadTek is carrying out the work, which is expected to be completed later this year, weather permitting.