Historic day for Gympie as sod turned on $1B game-changer
THE highly anticipated Gympie bypass has moved a step closer, with the first sod to be turned today at the Woondum interchange.
A contract was recently awarded to a Bielby BMD joint venture to deliver upgrades from Woondum through to Veteran as part of the Bruce Highway Cooroy to Curra Section D project.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said meticulous planning had been required to prepare for this vital infrastructure upgrade.
“This first contract will deliver 12km of dual-lane, divided highway between the Woondum interchange and Sandy Creek Road in Veteran,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
“It also includes two new interchanges at Penny Road and Gympie Connection Road, along with 23 new bridges over local waterways, roads and the North Coast Rail Line.
“The project will reduce the number and severity of crashes and will meet current design standards to provide a safer road environment.
“To ensure seamless connectivity with existing roads, there will also be about 5.5 kilometres of local road realignments and upgrades to existing intersections.
“More than six million cubic metres of earth from cuts will be moved to fill and bring the new highway to a level where it will be able to withstand a one-in-100-year flood.
“We are investing in our post-pandemic future by delivering lasting infrastructure which will kick-start our economic recovery and benefit Australians for years to come.”
Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey welcomed the occasion and said not only would the project build a new highway to improve freight efficiency and connectivity through the Wide Bay, but it would also build job opportunities and economic stimulus, as part of Queensland’s plan for economic recovery.
“The Gympie Bypass will be an economic lifeblood for the region for the next four years, creating about 576 jobs – and I encourage local businesses and workers to put their hand up and get involved,” Mr Bailey said.
“We committed to building this now more than ever – with global economies bearing the brunt of COVID-19 – Queenslanders need jobs.
Businesses wishing to be involved can visit the TMR website, while workers interested in direct employment can contact email@example.com
“We’ve see Queenslanders step up to manage the health impacts of the global pandemic, and because of their work the Queensland Government is able to get on with the state’s plan for economic recovery.
“That includes moving six million cubic metres of earth to build a transformative road project for Gympie as part of a $1.9 billion pipeline of transport projects in the region creating more than 1,000 jobs.”
Federal Member for Wide Bay and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Llew O’Brien said today is a landmark moment in Gympie‘s and Wide Bay’s history.
“This is a once in a generation infrastructure project that will save lives and transform Wide Bay’s economy,” Mr O’Brien said
“This project is as important for Gympie as it is for Maryborough, better connecting industry and manufacturing to the Port of Brisbane and beyond.
“Local motorists, tourists and heavy transport will all benefit from this four lane divided highway that will be built to the highest possible safety standards.
“I thank everyone who helped bring this moment about and we can all look forward to the jobs the construction phase will bring to the region.
“When it’s finished the new highway alignment will ease congestion through Gympie and deliver a safer, high speed, and less flood prone transport corridor that will keep the wheels of Wide Bay’s economy turning.”
Mr O’Brien said now that this first contract has been awarded, the focus will shift to getting the job done and securing the second major construction contractor early 2021.
“The second contract will undertake the remaining section between Veteran and Curra.
“Although the two contracts will start about six months apart, the ultimate goal is to have all the works complete at the same time so we can open the new section of the highway by mid-2024, weather permitting,” Mr O’Brien said.
This $1 billion Cooroy to Curra – Section D project is jointly funded by the Australian Government contributing $800 million and the Queensland Government $200 million.