Highway upgrade opens early

Upgraded section of Bruce Highway opens early to increase safety and protect motorists against flood-prone sections

An upgraded section of the Bruce Highway has opened early to increase safety and protect motorists against flood-prone sections.

The new 15.5-kilometre section of the highway between Townsville and Cairns was completed 10 months ahead of schedule.

Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Anthony Albanese says the upgrade opens just in time for the wet season, with only some line marking and resealing left to be completed in January.

"The entire new alignment, which is 11 metres wide, is also up to 1.5 metres higher than the old highway in flood-prone sections to provide optimum flood immunity to motorists," Albanese says.

"In addition to reducing flood closures, the new section of road is safer, with motorists driving on a wider and straighter sealed road with more opportunities for overtaking slower vehicles.

Albanese says the Lentini Road construction will be finished by Christmas, creating a more direct connection to the highway for the Silky Oak and the Tully/Hull Heads communities.

He project is part of the Accelerated Bruce Highway Upgrade Package, which is designed to improve efficiency and reduce the rate of floods on the highway between Townsville and Cairns.

"The delivery of this package is now well underway, with a number of projects complete or in the latter stages of construction," Albanese says.

"The benefits of the package will be far-reaching and all motorists – including truckies, tourists and the local community – will benefit from a safer and more efficient transport route between Townsville and Cairns."

The Tully project features a number of environmental initiatives, such as a mahogany glider overpass, cassowary crossings and fish passages through major culverts under the road.

As part of the upgrade, 42,000 native plant species were planted to re-establish fauna connectivity along the project and guide wildlife to safe crossing areas.

Queensland Minister for Main Roads Warren Pitt says flood immunity projects at Ingham also finished ahead of schedule, with the $28 million project opening in September.

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