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Objective 4Major Infrastructure

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Bruce Highway Upgrade Program

The Bruce Highway is Queensland's major north-south freight and commuter corridor, connecting Brisbane to Cairns over a length of 1677 kilometres.

The federal and state governments have committed to a ten year, $8.5 billion program of works to upgrade the Bruce Highway, with a focus on improving safety, flood resilience and capacity. The federal government has committed $6.7 billion and the state government has committed $1.8 billion to this important program of works.

The program commenced in mid-2013 and is the largest program of roadworks currently underway in Queensland.

Program status

The program is now entering its fifth year of delivery with:

More projects are regularly being added to the program's scope of works as budget allows, delivering greater benefits for Queensland motorists.

Type of projects being delivered

Projects include major capital investment projects as well as smaller improvement projects that have been combined for more efficient delivery:

Program benefits

The program has already achieved significant improvements to safety along the Bruce Highway with an approximately 30 per cent reduction in the number of crashes, fatalities and serious injuries* since the program began (based on the baseline statistics – annual average of 2009–13).

The program has also resulted in an additional 67 kilometres of the Bruce Highway now rated at three safety stars (out of a possible five stars) or better according to the nationally recognised Australian Road Assessment Program (AusRAP) (see glossary) safety star rating system. This means more than 81 per cent of the travel on Bruce Highway is now on road section, rated at three safety stars or more.

Improvements to flood resilience and road capacity along the Bruce Highway will become evident over the remaining years of the program as flood studies and construction works are completed, and the cumulative benefits of the Bruce Highway projects are realised.

Note:*per 100 million vehicle kilometres travelled.

Safety improvement highlights

As at May 2017:

  1. This is in addition to 667 kilometres of wide centreline treatment delivered on the Bruce Highway under other funding programs.
  2. This is in addition to 378 kilometres of audio-tactile line marking delivered on the Bruce Highway under other funding programs.

Bruce Highway safety and capacity improvements

Bruce Highway Upgrade Project – Tinana Interchange

In July 2016, we started works to upgrade the Bruce Highway interchange at Tinana. The project involves constructing a northbound off-ramp to provide a left-hand diverge and building a new overpass structure with both through lanes of highway traffic travelling under the new overpass.

The project also includes installing traffic signals at the Gympie Road and Iindah Road West intersection at Tinana. Dedicated right-turn lanes will be provided on Gympie Road to improve traffic efficiency.

Girder placement at Tinana Interchange

Girder placement at Tinana Interchange

Once completed, the project will improve safety and operational efficiency and support future growth in the Fraser Coast. The new interchange is expected to be operational in late 2017, weather permitting. Traffic signals at the Gympie Road and Iindah Road intersection are expected to be installed by early 2018.

The federal government has provided $30.4 million towards the total project cost of $38 million, with state government contributing $7.6 million.

The 32 metre girders, each weighing about 80 tonnes, will support the new two-span overpass that will serve as the new northbound off-ramp from the Bruce Highway to Gympie Road.

Bruce Highway – Cooroy to Curra (Section A)

This $490 million federal and state funded (in a 50:50 split) upgrade has delivered a new 13.5 kilometre, four-lane divided highway between the interchange south of Cooroy and the new section of highway in Federal near Sankeys Road.

An early works contract completed in April 2014 realigned Black Mountain Range Road and constructed an overpass for the new Bruce Highway.

The first major construction contract was completed in May 2016 and delivered:

The second major construction contract was completed in early May 2017 and delivered:

Aerial view of the completed Cooroy to Curra (Section A) northern interchange. Photo by Above Photography

Aerial view of the completed Cooroy to Curra (Section A) northern interchange. Photo by Above Photography

The new four-lane highway opened to traffic in April 2017.

This newly completed Section A upgrade for the Bruce Highway between Cooroy and Sankeys Road has received a top safety rating (a mixture of 4 and 5 stars, 5 stars being the safest) from the AusRap.

Bruce Highway – Cooroy to Curra (Section C)

The third section of the 62 kilometre Bruce Highway – Cooroy to Curra upgrade continued construction and is on track to be completed in early 2018, weather permitting.

The $384.2 million state and federally funded project will deliver a new 10.5 kilometre four-lane divided highway on a new and improved alignment, to the east of the existing Bruce Highway between Traveston and Woondum. The project includes the construction of 13 bridges.

An early package of safety works to upgrade the southern access to Gympie between Woondum and the Venardos Avenue intersection started in late July 2015 and was completed ahead of schedule in late March 2016.

The federal government is providing $307.4 million towards the project, with the state government contributing $76.8 million.

New Bruce Highway bridges over Tandur Road looking north

New Bruce Highway bridges over Tandur Road looking north

Bruce Highway – Cooroy to Curra (Section D)

Detailed design continued on the final section of the Bruce Highway – Cooroy to Curra upgrade which will provide a 26 kilometre long, four-lane, divided highway on a new alignment between Woondum and Curra.

The alignment for the new highway is east of Gympie and will separate long distance traffic from local traffic, improving safety and allowing the highway to function as a high-speed, high-volume corridor.

The detailed design for the new highway section is expected to be complete in early 2018.

Caloundra Road to Sunshine Motorway Interchange

This year, we started construction on the $929.3 million Bruce Highway Upgrade from Caloundra Road to the Sunshine Motorway. The federal and state government-funded project (80:20) will widen the highway from four lanes to six and includes a new service road for local traffic on the western side of the highway. This also means a major upgrade to the Sunshine Motorway interchange and construction of Australia's first Diverging Diamond Interchange at Caloundra Road.

Caloundra Road Interchange design layout (May 2017)

Caloundra Road Interchange design layout (May 2017)

In September 2016, the design and construction contract was awarded with preliminary construction commencing in November 2016. In May 2017, the first sod was turned to mark the start of major construction.

The Diverging Diamond Interchange design is a first for Australia. It has been used with great success in the US since 2009 and while this type of interchange will improve safety, importantly it will reduce the impact to the former Beerwah State Forest by using around six hectares.

Through the detailed planning and procurement process, the department has reduced the project budget from $1.134 billion to $929.3 million.

Construction is expected to be completed in late 2020, weather permitting.

Over 40,000 motorists are estimated to use the Sunshine Motorway interchange and the Caloundra Road interchange daily.

Bruce Highway – Boundary Road interchange upgrade

Construction commenced in mid-2016 to upgrade the Boundary Road interchange on the Bruce Highway at Narangba. The $100.4 million upgrade (funded by the federal and state government in an 80:20 split) will improve safety, ease congestion and increase capacity to cater for future traffic volumes.

The project includes a new six-lane bridge over the highway, longer on and off-ramps to improve safety for motorists entering and exiting the highway, and a new shared user path for pedestrians and cyclists.

Construction of the new six-lane bridge is now complete. The new overpass structure opened to traffic in early April 2017.

Townsville Ring Road (Section 4)

The $200 million Townsville Ring Road (Section 4) project was completed and the road officially opened in December 2016.

Section 4 completes the 22 kilometre Townsville Ring Road link, forming a new section of the National Highway. The completed ring road has enhanced freight connectivity, increased efficiency and reliability of the network and improved flood immunity.

It has also significantly reduced congestion on the local road network, with approximately 10,400 vehicles a day being removed from nearby Woolcock Street.

The project was jointly funded, with the federal government contributing $160 million and the state government contributing $40 million.

Bruce Highway Flood Resilience Project

Arnot Creek bridge replacement

The $10 million Arnot Creek (Bruce Highway) bridge replacement involved removing the old bridge, providing a temporary crossing and the construction of a new wider bridge, including widening the approaches from 10 metres width to approximately 11.5 metres.

The project was part of the state government's Accelerated Works Program. Work commenced in May 2016 and was completed in February 2017. The completed works have delivered vital improvements to road safety, freight connectivity and productivity on the highway.

The project was jointly funded by the federal and state governments, with contributions of $8 million and $2 million respectively.

Existing decking being removed from the Arnot Creek bridge

Existing decking being removed from the Arnot Creek bridge

Granite Creek bridge restoration

Located between Mackay and Rockhampton along the Bruce Highway, Granite Creek bridge experienced significant damage, during Tropical Cyclone Debbie. The north abutment was completely washed out by storm runoff resulting from huge rainfall tallies (greater than 400 millimetres over two days).

Access to the bridge was temporarily limited after inspections found a large void had been created under the reinforced concrete relieving slab, which meant it was the only thing supporting the bitumen and pavement.

Just 36 hours after work commenced, temporary repairs to the bridge were completed and the highway was able to be reopened to two-way traffic.

A concrete truck and crane were immediately sourced to install a temporary sandbag wall and backfill the void to make the approach and abutment trafficable to all vehicles again.

To allow traffic to continue to use the bridge safely until repairs were complete, a load limit was placed on the bridge. This restricted travel over the bridge to vehicles under five tonnes, under traffic control and with a 10 kilometre per hour speed limit. Vehicles greater than five tonnes attempting to travel through the area were redirected to an alternative route by Transport Inspectors.

Gateway Upgrade North and sustainable initiatives

Work is well underway on the Gateway Upgrade North project, which includes widening the Gateway Motorway from four to six lanes between Nudgee and Deagon, with additional pavement and safety works through to Bracken Ridge.

The $1.143 billion project, jointly funded by the federal government ($914.18 million) and the state government ($228.54 million) on an 80:20 split, is on track to be completed by late 2018. The upgrade will ease congestion and improve safety on one of Queensland’s busiest motorways, providing a critical transport corridor for more than 83,000 vehicles each day.

Since major construction work commenced in February 2016, significant milestones achieved include:

We are committed to delivering sustainable outcomes throughout design and construction, and in May 2017 the project was awarded the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia design rating of 'Excellent' – the first major road project in Queensland to gain this rating. One example of a sustainable initiative is the use of a new asphalt product, EME2, being demonstrated on a section of the Deagon Deviation works. In its first large scale use in Australia, the demonstration involved the design, manufacture and placement of approximately 10,000 tonnes of EME2 asphalt.

If successful, it could reduce the thickness of road pavements by up to 20 per cent and reduce the amount of non-renewable resources used to construct road pavements.

Ipswich Motorway – Rocklea to Darra (Stage 1)

We have commenced early works to upgrade the Ipswich Motorway from four to six lanes along a three kilometre stretch between Rocklea and Oxley.

The contract was awarded in April 2017 to Bielby Hull Albem Joint Venture, with construction expected to start in October 2017. The joint federal and state funded project will improve motorway travel time, reliability, safety, local connectivity and flood immunity for all road users, pedestrians and cyclists.

Rocklea to Darra (Stage 1) of the $400 million upgrade includes:

The project is expected to be completed late 2020.

Mackay Ring Road (Stage 1)

Detailed design of the $497.8 million Mackay Ring Road (Stage 1) project, jointly funded by the federal and state governments, was completed in April 2017.

A key benefit of the project will be to reduce hazardous and heavy loads travelling through the city centre and improve the operation of local, regional and national road networks.

The 11.3 kilometre two-lane rural highway deviation includes construction of:

The project also paves the way for the first 2.6 kilometres of the Mackay to Bowen Basin Service Link (Walkerston Bypass). Construction of Stage 1 of Mackay Ring Road is scheduled to commence in September 2017 for completion in mid-2020.

Cape York Region Package

The Cape York Region Package (CYRP) is a $260.5 million program of works jointly funded by the federal and state governments to upgrade critical infrastructure in far north Queensland.

The package consists of three sub-programs:

In 2016 the CYRP team successfully delivered the following project milestones:

Works planned for 2017 are:

In October 2016, Indigenous trainees working on the PDR Coen South sealing project were issued with log books to record hours spent operating various pieces of equipment. This is an important step towards gaining their Certificate III in Civil Construction.

Construction on the Peninsula Developmental Road, Archer to Wolverton

Construction on the Peninsula Developmental Road, Archer to Wolverton

The contracts for construction works being delivered on the PDR through the CYRP have specified targets in relation to Key Result Areas (KRA). As at 30 June 2017, the 2016-17 projects had not only achieved, but exceeded, the KRA targets as required in the contracts:

As at 30 June 2017, 86 Indigenous people, including 35 New Entrant trainees, were employed on the sealing and gravel production projects on the PDR, and 25 Indigenous businesses/joint ventures were working on or sub contracted to the PDR projects.

Eton Range Realignment Project

The $189.2 million project, jointly funded by the federal and state governments, aims to improve the safety and reliability of the Peak Downs Highway, which is the only designated B-double route from Mackay west to the northern Bowen Basin.

The works include widening to four lanes, a split carriageway, and partial realignment of the existing Eton Range crossing, which will reduce the need to close the range when traversed by oversized vehicles.

Construction started in April 2016 and is due to be completed in mid-2019, weather permitting.

Toowoomba Second Range Crossing

Work is progressing well on the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing (TSRC). Major construction commenced in late April 2016 and is on track to be completed in late 2018.

The $1.606 billion project is jointly funded by the federal government ($1.137 billion) and the state government ($469.3 million) and is being delivered in a 25 year Public Private Partnership with the Nexus Infrastructure (Nexus) consortium.

A total of 23 bridges will be constructed as part of the TSRC with 20 of these under construction as at June 2017. Work also commenced in early May 2017 on the various interchanges connecting the TSRC with major highways, including the Gore Highway, Warrego Highway western interchange and Warrego Highway eastern interchange.

Construction of the New England Highway twin arch bridges

Construction of the New England Highway twin arch bridges

Earthworks are also well advanced between the New England Highway and Goombungee Road with construction commencing on the twin arch bridges that will carry New England Highway traffic 30 metres above traffic on the TSRC where the TSRC cuts through the Toowoomba Range at Mount Kynoch.

When completed, the 41 kilometre long toll road will pass Toowoomba on its northern side, linking the Warrego Highway at Helidon Spa in the east and the Gore Highway at Athol in the west, via Charlton.

The TSRC will contribute to a safer and faster link in the National Land Transport Network, providing commercial vehicles with an alternative crossing of the Toowoomba Range to improve freight efficiency and driver safety, relieve pressure on roads in Toowoomba and the Lockyer Valley, and enhance liveability for the region's residents.

The number 13 may be lucky for some but for the superstitious types, or for those who are building a 41 kilometre long bypass, the Nexus consortium were not going to take the gamble and opted out of numbering a bridge '13'.

Western Roads Upgrade Program

The state government established the $40 million Western Roads Upgrade Program (WRUP) to support economic development and job sustainability in western Queensland, to be delivered over two years (2015–17). By June 2017, all 15 projects under the program were complete.

WRUP projects completed in 2016– 17 include works on the following roads:

*Note: The Myuma-TMR Alliance delivered maintenance works on sections of these roads

Western Roads Upgrade Program map/diagram

Western Roads Upgrade Program

Case study

Myuma – TMR Alliance

TMR has been working in partnership with Myuma since 2000 and recognises the important work Myuma undertakes as a not-for-profit Indigenous training organisation. Myuma had an increased works program in the 2016-17 financial year, enabling the organisation to provide Indigenous employment and training opportunities in road construction projects.

Myuma conducts a diverse range of business and training operations on behalf of the Indjalandji–Dhidhnu People, the Aboriginal traditional owners of the Camooweal region in north west Queensland.

In 2016-17 Myuma delivered key maintenance works to the Western Roads Upgrade Program.

Warrego Highway Upgrade Program

The Warrego Highway Upgrade Program (WHUP) is designed to upgrade the Warrego Highway between Toowoomba and Miles and comprises 15 projects being delivered over four years from 2014–15 to 2018–19. WHUP is funded by the federal and state governments on an 80:20 funding split arrangement of $635 million ($508 million federal funding and $127 million state funding).

In 2016-17 we completed:

In 2016-17 we commenced work on:

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