Government finalise report into Bruce Hwy upgrade

By: Jason Whittaker

The Queensland Government has finalised a planning study for a major upgrade of the Bruce Highway from Cooroy to Curra.

The Queensland Government has finalised a planning study for a major upgrade of the Bruce Highway from Cooroy to Curra.

Main Roads Minister Warren Pitt says the planning study report presents a detailed outline and justification of the selected corridor for the new highway.
The report has now been forwarded to the Federal Government following public consultation.

Under the plan, a corridor east of Gympie will provide access to local industry and businesses and better access to a developing coastal region. An extensive service road network will exist to support the highway so that, people will have convenient access to local facilities.

Pitt says the project will now move into the design stage, involving further community consultation on issues such as acquisition of land, property access connection, traffic noise, lighting and landscaping.

"Queensland had submitted a draft of the planning study report to the Federal Government earlier this year, but now that the final report has been concluded it means that the project can now formally move to its next stage," he says.

The final corridor incorporates many of the elements of the proposed corridor that went on public display last March, including the retention of the existing stretch of highway for local travel, access to properties and emergency use.

The Government, however, altered sections of the proposal following community input. The interchange south of Gympie will now become a multi-direction interchange providing entry and exit points for motorists heading north and south.

Another is a revised alignment through the Curra State Forest to reduce the impact on landowners and eliminate a need to realign Old Maryborough Road.

But Pitt says the Cudgerie Drive-Cooroy Connection Road junction remains the site for a southern interchange. However, the use of low-noise asphalt, earth mounds and downward directional lighting will be examined to alleviate community concerns about possible impacts.

The location and arrangement for the proposed Traveston interchange will also be reviewed during detailed planning for the proposed Traveston Crossing dam.

The only access to the new highway will be via interchanges that are planned at Cudgerie Drive, Traveston Road, near Keefton Road, Gympie Connection Road and Curra.

The new highway will cross local roads via bridges and underpasses. The existing highway will remain in place as an arterial road to provide access to local roads and properties.

The existing two-lane highway will be duplicated on the western side, as previously planned. An interchange at Mary River Road was considered but not included because the Government claims an interchange at Cudgerie Drive will provide greater benefits to the community.

The Black Mountain to Federal corridor will be on the western side of the existing highway. However, if the controversial Traveston dam does not go ahead, the Government will look at an alternative corridor near the existing highway.

The interchange near Keefton Road will include north-facing ramps, as favoured by local business operators.

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