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Mackay road access push gets wide political backing

Bruce Highway north of city focus of congestion-busting infrastructure spend


Queensland and federal politicians lined up to support congestion-relief designs for the Mackay Northern Access Upgrade Project Stage 1, but it is federal MP for Dawson George Christensen who points out the projected freight gains.

Christensen says the project would streamline the crucial freight transport route, with Mackay roads carrying about 15 to 20 million tonnes of freight every year.

“This project will provide the major improvements needed to support industry in Mackay, including safer, more efficient access to Mackay’s port,” he adds.

Stage 1 of the project included widening the highway to six lanes from the Ron Camm Bridge to Mackay-Bucasia Road intersection and widening to four lanes from Mackay-Bucasia Road to the Davey Street overpass.

The project also includes upgrading several major intersections.

“Motorists who travel along this stretch of the Bruce Highway know just how heavy traffic can be,” Queensland transport and main roads minister Mark Bailey says.

“Providing additional lanes and major upgrades of key intersections – including Sams Road and Mackay-Bucasia Road – will reduce peak-hour congestion.”

Though regional city road congestion is not widely appreciated elsewhere, it was a theme supported by state MP for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert who says 30,000 to 40,000 vehicles a day use the Bruce Highway north of the Pioneer River.

“Once design works and extensive community consultation are finalised we expect Stage 1 of this major project to start in late 2018 and the entire project to be completed by mid-2020, weather permitting,” Gilbert says.

Stage 2 of the project will include upgrading the Davey Street overpass and widening the highway to four lanes to align with the Mackay Ring Road approximately 350 metres north of Bald Hill Road.

The federal government has committed $64 million to the Mackay Northern Access Upgrade Project with the Queensland government contributing $16 million.

Federal infrastructure minister for and transport Michael McCormack says the upgrade would improve safety and help relieve increasing pressure on the highway and northern Mackay’s road network.

“Demand on the regional road network has been steadily growing and we are getting on the front foot with road infrastructure investments which will deliver a safer and more efficient Bruce Highway and improve traffic flows in the north of Mackay,” McCormack says.


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