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Vital QLD freight route improves with $75M upgrade

  • Posted on Thursday 23rd, July 2020.

A $75 million highway upgrade in Queensland aims to improve safety and connectivity according to Deputy Prime Minister, Michael McCormack.

Sealing works have been completed on Farmers Lane – a newly constructed local connection road – and will facilitate safer access to the Capricorn Highway.

“The Capricorn Highway is a key commuter route, connecting the growing community of Gracemere to Rockhampton,” said McCormack.

“The highway also serves as a vital freight route for Central Queensland, linking the Bruce Highway in the east to central and western Queensland," he said.

Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads, Mark Bailey, said the upgrade to Farmers Lane was an important part of the broader duplication project, significantly improving the road and connectivity to surrounding properties.

“With Farmers Lane works now complete, our sights are set on progressing other work areas,” said Bailey.

“It’s why the Queensland Government has announced $1 billion in new and accelerated joint-funding for roads across Queensland since Covid-19, including $35 million for Lawrie Street at Gracemere, where crews will hit the ground running on a new upgrade later this year.”

Federal Member for Flynn, Ken O’Dowd, said this duplication project will also increase capacity and reduce travel times, particularly during peak traffic times, for the 18,000 motorists who use this highway every day.

“The Capricorn Highway project focuses on addressing the capacity of the highway between Gracemere and Rockhampton," said O'Dowd. 

"Of the 18,000 daily motorists on the Capricorn Highway, more than 2,000 are heavy vehicles.

“These vehicles form a key supply route for mines in the Bowen Basin and the developing Galilee Basin. The road duplication works will help facilitate the continued growth of these critical regional industries.

“Construction is expected to be completed by early next year, weather permitting," he said.

Member for Rockhampton, Barry O’Rourke, said the Capricorn Highway project was supporting 187 jobs.

“We know there’s a long road ahead when it comes to Covid-19, and that’s why we’re focussed on Queensland’s plan for economic recovery – a laser-like focus on infrastructure, jobs, industry and business,” said O’Rourke.

“With $1 billion in major road upgrades across the region alone, this is a level of investment is on a scale we’ve never seen before – we’ve got projects like the $121 million Rockhampton Northern Access Upgrade and $80 million Rockhampton-Yeppoon Road upgrade, just to name a few," he said.

The $75 million project is jointly-funded between the Australian and Queensland Governments.

Earlier this week, McCormack said the National in Government will continue to deliver the economic lifeline businesses need to ensure regional Australia comes through the Covid-19 pandemic in a strong position.

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