Highway upgrades must go further: Dametto
A $29.2 million safety upgrade along the Bruce Highway should be the catalyst for a broader road works program across Hinchinbrook, says local MP Nick Dametto.
Mr Dametto said while he welcomed a joint Federal and State package that will upgrade a 7.3km stretch of road between Hechts Road and Easter Creek, other parts of the highway deserved urgent attention.
“I know residents in the north of Hinchinbrook have being crying out for safety upgrades between the Cardwell Range and Tully after several fatal accidents there in recent years,” he said.
“Another example lies between Hechts Road and Bambaroo Road along the Highway where Bambaroo State School is located. There’s a rail siding there and the haul out tractors which frequently come in to dump their cane into the rail bins face the serious risk of being hit by oncoming traffic, which comes off a bend at 100km/h. We had a near miss between a haul out tractor and a truck just last week.”
The project will deliver safety improvements at four Bruce Highway intersections – Catastis Road, Scrubview Road, Jourama Falls Road and Yuruga Road, but not Hechts Road.
Meanwhile, new north and southbound overtaking lanes will be built on a separated carriageway between Little Gin Creek and Water View Creek to further improve safety and overtaking opportunities for motorists travelling between Ingham and Townsville.
“This package is a good start to improving road safety but I want to see that taken a step further so we can minimise the risk of future accidents on our roads in Hinchinbrook,” Mr Dametto said.
“I am pleased to have played a part in securing funding for these upgrades and will continue my efforts to lobby Transport and Main Roads on upgrading more black spots along the Bruce Highway in Hinchinbrook.”
The project is expected to deliver a wider, safer highway with improved visibility and access, better overtaking opportunities and a reduced risk of head-on collisions for motorists.
Almost 50 jobs will be generated for construction workers, local contractors and other businesses in the supply chain.
So far, almost $140 million has been locked in for major upgrades to the Bruce between Townsville and Ingham in the next few years, with a $24.9 million to upgrade intersections and build new overtaking lanes at Bluewater expected to be completed later this year.