Far North Queensland Celebrates Rail and Road Project Achievement

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The $535 million Bruce Highway-Cairns Southern Access Corridor (Stage 3)-Edmonton to Gordonvale project has reached its zenith with the official commissioning of a pivotal component. This monumental project has transformed traffic flow and road safety in the region, mitigating congestion, reducing travel times, and enhancing road access and active transport networks.

A momentous achievement in this project’s timeline, the Menmuny Overpass, spanning an impressive 141 meters, has been unveiled as a crucial milestone. It will be open to motorists starting Friday, August 18, ensuring safe access to the highway in all directions.

Commencing construction in May 2020, this project involved the duplication and enhancement of a 10.5-kilometer section of the Bruce Highway between Edmonton and Gordonvale, the busiest two-lane segment of the highway connecting Cairns and Brisbane. Over 200 million hours of work have gone into the project, engaging more than 300 local suppliers and contractors.

In addition to the highway upgrades, this endeavor includes:

  • A 4.5-kilometer rail track upgrade and realignment of the Queensland Rail North Coast Line.
  • A new intersection and enhancements to two existing intersections.
  • Over eight kilometers (8.9 kilometers) of upgraded local roads.
  • Construction of new road and rail bridges at Wrights Creek and Stoney Creek.
  • A cycleway bridge at Collinson Creek.
  • A 10.4-kilometer cycleway.
  • Twenty-seven kilometers of drainage.
  • Three new pedestrian crossing facilities, including a pedestrian overpass.

Funding for this project is provided by the Australian and Queensland governments under the Bruce Highway Upgrade Program, with the Australian Government committing $428.01 million and the Queensland Government $106.99 million.

The project is set to be fully operational by the end of the month, with minor remaining works scheduled for completion in September.

Federal Transport Minister Catherine King affirmed the Australian Government’s commitment to delivering safe and reliable road infrastructure that connects and supports Queensland and rural and regional Australia, stating that such vital projects strengthen communities, freight networks, and road safety.

Queensland Transport Minister Mark Bailey emphasized that the new highway would ensure long-term resilience for this section of the Cairns Southern Access Corridor. He also noted the community’s involvement in naming ten new pieces of infrastructure, which celebrate local identities and rich Indigenous culture.

Joint venture contractors John Holland, Seymour Whyte, and AECOM are credited with successfully delivering this remarkable project. John Holland Operations Manager Natasha Roy highlighted the collaborative effort between teams and local subcontractors as instrumental in the project’s success. She underscored the significance of community support and the project’s sustainable construction methodologies, which have set industry standards while preserving the area’s heritage and environment. Additionally, the project has contributed to the growth of local livelihoods, fostering strong relationships with local contractors and businesses and paving the way for their involvement in future major infrastructure projects in Far North Queensland.

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