Early works have officially begun on Queensland’s Inland Freight Route
The Queensland government has announced it is powering forward with its commitment to the Inland Freight Route by kickstarting early works now.
Known as the Second Bruce, the 1185 km route will establish a viable north-south alternative to the Bruce Highway that will form a critical freight corridor between Mungindi and Charters Towers.
“Building the Second Bruce is essential as Queensland population continues to boom,” Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says.
“It will provide an alternative route for truckies and keep communities connected during major flood events.”
The Queensland government is honouring its 80:20 commitment to the route, with $200 million allocated towards the project.
“Bringing forward the Queensland portion of funding for the Inland Freight Route between Mungindi and Charters Towers is vital,” Queensland transport minister Mark Bailey says.
“The Bruce Highway is the single most important highway in the country.
“By building a better Inland Freight Route targeted at taking trucks off the Bruce, we are ensuring strong supply chains and driving economic growth for regional industries and communities.”
More than half of the Queensland government’s commitment is now on the table to accelerate early works delivery.
This is kickstarted by a $19.7 million billion upgrade in the north section of Dawson River that will widen the existing bridge from 7.4 metres to 10.3 metres.
The Queensland government says these works will realign the bridge approaches to improve safety and accessibility for heavy vehicles.
It is also the first of two bridge upgrades between Injune and Rolleston on the Carnarvon Highway.
Other upgrades among the $107 million early works package include major culvert works between Roma and Injune plus two road strengthening and widening projects between Clermont and Charters Towers on Gregory Development Road.
“Upgrades will also improve connectivity and safety to help keep our state moving with a viable alternative to the Bruce Highway,” Bailey says.
“Our vast state has the largest regional road network in the nation, any proposed changes from 80:20 funding to 50:50 will have a serious impact on our regional communities.”
The works build on $109 million in jointly funded upgrades recently delivered on the Inland Freight Route and key feeder roads as part of the Roads of Strategic Importance program and road economic stimulus packages.