Wide Bay MP Llew O'Brien with Transport Minister Darren Chester and Gympie MP Tony Perrett at another Bruce Hwy announcement earlier this month.
Wide Bay MP Llew O'Brien with Transport Minister Darren Chester and Gympie MP Tony Perrett at another Bruce Hwy announcement earlier this month. Renee Albrecht

New stretch of Bruce Hwy upgrade opens to traffic

GYMPIE region motorists will enjoy an even quicker and smoother trip to the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane with the new 7.5km southbound section of the Bruce Hwy between Cudgerie Dr and Cooroy open to traffic this week.

Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said the traffic switch was a significant milestone in the $490 million Cooroy to Curra Section A upgrade project.

"The Cooroy to Curra -Section A project will see 13.5km of the highway, between the Cooroy southern interchange and Sankeys Rd, upgraded to a four-lane divided highway. Seeing traffic take to the southbound carriageway is a real milestone as it's one of the final steps in completing the project," Mr Chester said.

"The Bruce Hwy is one of the most important road transport links in the country and these works are a major improvement to safety and efficiency for all motorists."

Queensland Minister for Main Roads and Road Safety Mark Bailey said the Section A project would support the region's economic growth.

"It is estimated that an average of 433 jobs will be supported over the life of the project, and the more efficient travel times are great news for businesses throughout the region," Mr Bailey said.

"At this point, only one lane in each direction is in use until additional works are completed early next year, but this is the first time both northbound and southbound traffic will travel on the entire Section A alignment between Cooroy and Federal."

Federal Member for Wide Bay Llew O'Brien said the project will enhance safety along one of the deadliest sections of the Bruce Hwy.

"This project will save lives. In my former career as a traffic accident investigator and police officer I attended many crashes, including along this section of the old highway, so this upgrade along this notorious stretch is very welcome. In the interests of safety, single-lane closures and traffic control changes will be implemented on and around the Bruce Highway as the Section A project nears completion," Mr O'Brien said. 

The Australian and Queensland Governments have funded the $490 million project under a 50:50 funding arrangement.