Long road to crossroads completion justified, Truss says
IT'S going to be a long road to recovery for Gladstone residents as the Bruce Highway re-construction drags out for another 10 years.
The highway will be a constant construction site for at least the next decade, Acting Prime Minister Warren Truss said on Wednesday, after visiting the almost-completed Calliope Crossroads redevelopment.
With the work nearing completion on the much-needed fix of the once-dangerous intersection, attention now turned to other parts of the state's arterial road that services the Gladstone region.
"The Bruce Highway will be a continuous construction site for the next decade or more," Mr Truss said.
"The work (on Yeppen Bridge, between Gladstone and Rockhampton), is under way and people will know there's a lot of cranes and pile driving going on at the present time but it is a significant engineering task and it is a task that's very vulnerable to adverse weather.
"We would expect it to be completed about 2016 so it's quite a long time yet but it'll be full-speed construction right up until it's finished."
The crossroads were the subject of much debate in the decade leading up to the upgrade, with uncertainty as to the best way to carry out the works.
However, Mr Truss said the project, nearing completion, had been justified.
"I guess I've been watching this very busy intersection for the best part of a decade now," he said.
"There was a lot of debate about what was the solution, what options might be available.
"There were some low-cost options considered. Eventually a decision was made to build this overpass arrangement and clearly, while it was more expensive than some of the other options, it has delivered a wonderful outcome for the people of Calliope and Gladstone."