UPGRADES: Peter Wellington, former Deputy PM Warren Truss and Minister for Main Roads and Road Safety Mark Bailey at the upgrade in March this year.
UPGRADES: Peter Wellington, former Deputy PM Warren Truss and Minister for Main Roads and Road Safety Mark Bailey at the upgrade in March this year. Geoff Potter

Bruce Hwy upgrade ready for drivers to hit the road

THERE will be 7.5 fewer kilometres of high-risk, two-lane highway driving as of a week on Monday.

Another section of the notorious Bruce Highway has been upgraded, under the Cooroy-to-Curra plan, at the northern interchange of Cooroy.

This section, from Cudgerie Drive through to Sankeys Road, links up with the recently completed four-lane highway just south of the Mary Valley Highway off-ramp, and will remove time loss and risk for the 17,000 drivers and their passengers who use the road daily.

The interchange links to Elm Street, the northern entry to the hinterland town of Cooroy, which in turn connects through to Noosa Heads.

The new section will be fully open as of Monday April 11.

Geoff Potter

Former federal transport minister and member for Wide Bay Warren Truss described the work as "a significant feat, craving a road through mountains".

"It has been a challenging project," he said.

"This is the northern end of Part A (of the Cooroy-to-Curra), the missing link between Part B.

"(Once completed) there will be four-lane which goes all the way to Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.

"That's the vital link the nation has needed for a long time."

State main roads minister Mark Bailey said the second part of the section, which includes the complex Cooroy southern interchange, should be completed by the end of the year, bringing the two completed segements to 13km.

Nicklin MP and speaker Peter Wellington also attended, with part of the new section running through his electorate, and he was happy to say the village community of Cudgerie had been spared from devastation by the original highway alignment.

"The Cudgerie community was up in arms when the first plan was released," he said.

"But I have to thank the (main roads) department for being prepared to look at the plans.

"People say you can't change a main highway alignment - but they did."

 

The new Cooroy northern interchange on the Bruce Hwy will open on April 11.
The new Cooroy northern interchange on the Bruce Hwy will open on April 11. Contributed

THE new Cooroy northern interchange on the Bruce Hwy will officially open from Monday 11 April.

Queensland Minister for Main Roads and Road Safety, Mark Bailey, will join Wide Bay MP Warren Truss and Gympie MP Tony Perrett at the site this morning to mark the project's completion.

Traffic on the Bruce Highway switches to a new 7km highway alignment between Cudgerie Dr and Sankeys Rd, as part of the Cooroy to Curra Section A project upgrades.

Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester, said the traffic switch would mark the completion of the second of three contracts being undertaken as part of the $490 million Bruce Hwy - Cooroy to Curra Section A project.

"The Cooroy to Curra - Section A broader project will ultimately result in the upgrade of 13.5km of the Bruce Hwy between the Cooroy southern interchange and Sankeys Rd, to a four-lane divided highway," Mr Chester said.

"Opening the Cooroy northern interchange, and the new highway alignment between Cudgerie Drive, and the previously upgraded highway at Federal, represents a major milestone".

Mr Bailey said the Palaszczuk Government had invested $245 million for Section A to improve safety and efficiency for motorists and heavy vehicles.

"Opening the all-movements Cooroy northern interchange and the new highway alignment between Cudgerie Drive and the previously upgraded highway at Federal, represents a significant milestone and improvement for the local area," Mr Bailey said.

"This highway is a critical national transport link and vital to the productivity and economy of the Sunshine Coast, Gympie and Queensland more generally.

"An average of 433 jobs are being supported throughout the life of the Cooroy to Curra Section A project."

Federal Member for Wide Bay, Warren Truss attended the event on behalf of the Australian Government. 

"The new interchange, located between Cudgerie Drive and Black Mountain Range Road, will provide improved travel times in all directions, with two roundabouts allowing efficient connections between the highway and the local road network," Mr Truss said. 

"The existing highway will connect to Cooroy Connection Road and serve as a link to the local road network north of Cooroy."

The Bruce Highway - Cooroy to Curra - Section A project is expected to be completed by late 2016, weather permitting.

Several temporary traffic changes and detours would be in place during the week before the final traffic switch and interchange opening.

The $490 million Bruce Highway - Cooroy to Curra Section A project is jointly funded in a 50:50 funding agreement between the Australian and Queensland governments.



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