|The Palaszczuk Government has committed an extra $46 million to a plan to build a four-lane Tiaro Bypass.
The additional funding in this month’s State Budget locks in $336 million in joint funding for the future Bruce Highway upgrade at Tiaro.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the funding was part of a jointly funded $883 million boost to the Bruce Highway upgrade budget.
“There is now $13 billion in joint funding committed to continue upgrades on priority sections of the 1700km Bruce Highway over the coming decade,” Mr Bailey said.
“We’re laying plenty of new bitumen on the Bruce, with 48 projects in construction and a further 154 projects in planning that will follow those.
“The extra Bruce funding supports our plan to target upgrades between Gladstone and Rockhampton, north of Townsville and build four lanes at Tiaro.”
Mr Bailey said the Palaszczuk Government had locked in a pipeline of projects that would support hundreds of jobs in the Wide Bay region over the next few years.
“That pipeline gives local workers and businesses in the supply chain certainty that funding will be flowing, and is an important part of Queensland’s COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan,” Mr Bailey said.
“Work started on the $1 billion Gympie Bypass last year and in the next few weeks people will start to see work ramp up on the $107 million Bruce Highway upgrade north of Maryborough at Saltwater Creek, a project expected to support 286 jobs.
“While those upgrades are being delivered, TMR will work on a new design for the four lane project, so that we’re ready to start building the Tiaro Bypass and offer more local job opportunities when the other upgrades finish.”
Member for Maryborough and Assistant Minister for Regional Roads Bruce Saunders said the recent announcement of new funding meant the Bypass would need to be re-designed.
“Locals know the Bruce Highway through Tiaro is flood prone, especially north of town at Chinaman Creek Bridge,” Mr Saunders said.
“TMR has already done a significant amount of work on planning and design, including consulting with the local community.
“We’ve always said that if the Federal Government, who are the majority funder of this upgrade, came on board for four laning, we’d contribute our fair share, and that’s exactly what we have done.
“Now that we’ve locked in the funding to build four lanes instead of two, the project team needs to come up with a new design, and that’s a process likely to run until late 2022.
“We’ll keep the community updated throughout that process and hope to have a concept design to show them later this year before the team moves into the detailed design stage.
“So, it’s back to the drawing board to some extent, but in the end it means Tiaro will get a much better four lane highway upgrade that is safer and less congested.”
The Palaszczuk Government’s total investment in the Tiaro Bypass is now $67.4 million.
The cost estimate for the four lanes is $336 million however, the figure will be revised as the project moves through the design phase and more detailed information becomes available.
For further information on the Tiaro Bypass, visit www.tmr.qld.gov.au (search for Tiaro Bypass).
Media contact: Toby Walker – 0439 347 875