TAKING SHAPE: Main Roads district director Stephen Mallows briefs Wide Bay MP Llew O'Brien.
TAKING SHAPE: Main Roads district director Stephen Mallows briefs Wide Bay MP Llew O'Brien. Artrhur Gorrie

Highway upgrade - moving fast in our direction

THE project that will give Gympie its first direct high-speed trade and tourism link to the world is moving fast towards completion next year.

"Possibly early next year," Gympie's Wide Bay MP Llew O'Brien said at the Traveston project site on Monday.

"When completed the Section C project will deliver a four-lane highway from Melbourne to Gympie," he said.

That means a high speed trade, tourism and general transport link between Gympie region and every major international trading port on the east coast of Australia.

And Mr O'Brien said yesterday the project was breaking all predicted speed limits.

"We don't want to build up expectations, but it is ahead of the schedule that would have seen it finished in the middle of next year.

"Favourable weather for construction has been too dry for a lot of people, but good for building a highway to Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne," he said.

But safety was also a major issue.

 

TAKING SHAPE: Main Roads district director Stephen Mallows briefs Wide Bay MP Llew O'Brien.
TAKING SHAPE: Main Roads district director Stephen Mallows briefs Wide Bay MP Llew O'Brien. Artrhur Gorrie

"An estimated 684 jobs will be supported over the life of the project," Mr O'Brien said.

"The Australian Government is contributed $307.4 million towards the project.

Queensland Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey found a link between the highway project and his other portfolio responsibilities, road safety and ports.

It would deliver 10.5km of new, four-lane divided highway on a new alignment between Traveston Interchange and Woondum.

"It is one of Queensland's major infrastructure projects," he said.

Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Darren Chester said the Section C part of the Cooroy to Curra project would link up with Sections A and B to create a duplicated Bruce Hwy to Gympie's southern doorstep at Six Mile.

The next question is about Section D, the big expensive one that will by-pass Gympie to the east, rejoining the Bruce Hwy at Curra.

"It's not funded yet," Mr O'Brien said, but that's what I'm fighting for now.

"But it's only a question of when, not if.

 

HIGH AND DRY: The new high level Traveston Creek bridge, seen from the existing level in in Old Traveston Rd.
HIGH AND DRY: The new high level Traveston Creek bridge, seen from the existing level in in Old Traveston Rd. Artrhur Gorrie

"On average we've got 25,000 vehicles coming through Gympie a day.

"That's increasing 3% a year for passenger vehicles and 3.5% for heavy vehicles.

"My argument is we've got the equipment here, we've spent more than $50 million for detailed design.

 

BACKYARD HIGHWAY: Traveston Homestead, where James Nash stayed on the night before found the gold that founded Gympie and saved Queensland from bankruptcy, now has a 21st Century superhighway taking shape in its backyard.
BACKYARD HIGHWAY: Traveston Homestead, where James Nash stayed on the night before found the gold that founded Gympie and saved Queensland from bankruptcy, now has a 21st Century superhighway taking shape in its backyard. Artrhur Gorrie

Told of concerns from some residents that parts of Section D may be in flood areas, he said the project would be built to Q100 standards, well above most floods.

"They may be an 1893 level flood but that is very rare," he said.

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