Bird’s-eye tour: Bruce Highway of the future
A bird's-eye view of the future Bruce Highway shows traffic flowing smoothly along a six-lane stretch linking Steve Irwin Way to Bribie Island.
Major works on the $662 million project are expected to begin within months and include an extra lane in each direction, upgrades to 10 bridges, new three-lane bridges built to withstand a one-in-100-year flood and a number of modifications to ramps.
The Department of Transport and Main Roads state the project aims to reduce the number and severity of crashes, cut travel times and increase capacity on the connection between the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane.
Major construction works are expected to begin after services such as water, power and telecommunications infrastructure are moved, which is expected to be completed in August.
According to the Queensland Government, the upgrades are expected to support 664 jobs throughout the entire project.
Construction is expected to take about three years, conditions permitting, and will be delivered across two Transport Infrastructure Contracts to be awarded to separate companies.
The first is Caboolture-Bribie Island Road Interchange to Pumicestone Rd Interchange is planned to start late this year.
Next, Pumicestone Road Interchange to Steve Irwin Way Interchange (Exit 163) is planned to begin mid-2021.
The project is funded on an 80:20 basis with the Australian Government contributing $530 million and the Queensland Government contributing $132.5 million.
On Friday, July 17 the Queensland Government officially launched a key cornerstone of its Future-Proofing the Bruce plan with the first meeting of the Bruce Highway Trust Advisory Council.
Transport Minister Mark Bailey and Members of the trust gathered on the Sunshine Coast for their first meeting to develop a strategy and rolling five-year action plans for the highway, which stretches from Brisbane's north to Cairns.
The advisory council is chaired by Peter Garske, director of the Queensland Transport and Logistics Council and former chief executive of the Queensland Trucking Association, and previous Deputy Chair of the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator.
Mr Bailey said the formation of the Trust would take the politics out the Bruce and lock in a pipeline of jobs in traditional infrastructure industries for the Sunshine State as it bounces back from COVID-19.
"COVID-19 has impacted global economies, and both Australia and Queensland haven't been immune. Because Queensland continues to manage the health response, it means we are well placed to continue implementing our plan for economic recovery, which includes kickstarting the work of the Bruce Highway Trust," Mr Bailey said.
The Sunshine Coast will also benefit from another major congestion-busting project, the $812 million Bruce Highway upgrade from Caloundra Road to the Sunshine Motorway.
This project is expected to support 680 jobs.
PROJECT BREAKDOWN: Caboolture-Bribie Island Road to Steve Irwin Way upgrade
- Two extra lanes, one in each direction, between Caboolture-Bribie Island Road Interchange and Steve Irwin Way Interchange (Exit 163)
- 110km/h speed limit north of D'Aguilar Highway, and 100km/h to the south
- 3.5m lanes and 3m shoulders, flatter barriers as required
- New three-lane bridges built to withstand a one-in100-year flood for northbound and southbound carriageways at all five creek crossings
- New four-lane northbound bridge at Lagoon Creek, and southbound bridge at Beerburrum Creek
- Modified Caboolture-Bribie Island Road interchange to reduce southbound weaving
- Northbound exit ramp separating Caboolture-Bribie Island Rd and D'Aguilar interchange into two consecutive exit ramp
- Minor changes to existing interchanges at Pumicestone Rd and Steve Irwin Way