QLD Government says traffic delays for Tugun Bypass worth the wait

By: Jason Whittaker

Tuck operators may face lengthy waits in traffic as the Queensland Government ramps up construction efforts in order to open

Tuck operators may face lengthy waits in traffic as the Queensland Government ramps up construction efforts in order to open the Tugun Bypass by June 2.

Main Roads Minister Warren Pitt says the finalisation of construction works at the Stewart Road interchange means existing traffic conditions will need to change come April 29.

As part of the changes, the northbound loop will be decommissioned so the new Stewart Road off-ramp from the bypass can be constructed.

So inconvenient will the upgrade be to motorists, Pitt is urging them to use an alternative route if they need to go to the Gold Coast or northern New South Wales.

He says, however, the long-term benefits of the Tugun Bypass will outweigh the short-term pain experienced by traffic delays.

According to Acting Premier Paul Lucas, once the bypass is opened this year traffic congestion will no longer be of concern.

"In less than two months the traffic gridlock that is the existing highway through Tugun will be relegated to history," he says.

The Government is planning on opening the bypass during the middle of the day to avoid peak traffic periods.

The 7km road connects the Stewart Road interchange at Currumbin with the Tweed Heads Bypass in NSW.

Based on traffic figures, the Government estimates about 46,000 vehicles will use the bypass each day, in turn reducing existing traffic on the Gold Coast Highway by up to 55 percent.

The four-lane road costs $543 million, with $120 million being provided by the Federal Government.

As well as reducing travel times, Minister for Transport Anthony Albanese says the bypass will deliver substantial economic and environmental benefits.

"It is estimated the bypass will save $1.9 billion in reduced travel and vehicle operating costs and $59 million in avoided accidents over 30 years, as well as reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 3.5 percent by 2017," he says.

Lucas says the project represents the Government’s commitment to reducing congestion and improving road conditions on the Gold Coast.

"It’s just one part of the almost $1 billion the State Government is spending on Gold Coast roads this and next financial year," he says.

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