The Queensland government has kickstarted the necessary early works on the Inland Freight Route — also known as the Second Bruce — now through the $107 million early works package.
The package will include priority upgrades along the critical freight route, brought forward by accelerated Queensland funding.
This lays the foundation for major works as part of the $1 billion highway project.
The 1185-kilometre Inland Freight Route will establish a viable north-south alternative to the Bruce Highway, forming a critical freight corridor between Mungindi and Charters Towers.
The state government is honouring it’s 80:20 commitment to the project, with $200 million allocated towards the project.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said: “It will provide an alternative route for truckies and keep communities connected during major flood events.
“Our government wants to see this critical freight corridor built, so we’re honoring our commitment to this project and getting works started now.”
The early works delivery includes a $19.7 million bridge upgrade over the Dawson River, north of Injune, that will widen the existing bridge from 7.4 metres to 10.3 metres.
Works will also realign the bridge approaches to improve safety and accessibility for heavy vehicles.
This is the first of two bridge upgrades between Injune and Rolleston.
The $107 million early works package will focus on addressing constraints north of Injune, and constraints in the vicinity of Belyando, including:
- two bridge upgrades between Injune and Rolleston on the Carnarvon Highway
- major culvert upgrades between Roma and Injune on the Carnarvon Highway
- two road strengthening and widening projects (in sections) between Clermont and Charters Towers on the Gregory Developmental Road in the vicinity of Belyando.
This builds on $109 million in jointly funded upgrades recently delivered on the Inland Freight Route and key feeder roads — as part of the Roads of Strategic Importance program and road economic stimulus packages.
Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said: “By building a better Inland Freight Route targeted at taking trucks off the Bruce, we are ensuring strong supply chains and driving economic growth for regional industries and communities.
“Not only that, upgrades will improve connectivity and safety to help keep our state moving with a viable alternative to the Bruce Highway.”