Construction begins on $1b Gympie Bypass

Gympie-Bypass

Construction begins on $1b Gympie Bypass

18th September 2020  – Joint media release

The highly anticipated Gympie bypass has moved a step closer, with the first sod 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 12 kilometres 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 hr@bielby.com.au

“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.

ENDS

View the Media Release here   Source: Queensland Government

Project Description

Section D involves the construction of a new 26km four-lane bypass of Gympie, running east of the city. Section D is the final link in the 62km upgrade to the Bruce Highway between Cooroy and Curra, and will connect to the northern end of Section C (at Woondum), with the existing Bruce Highway at Curra, north of Gympie.

Key project features include:

  • a new four-lane divided highway
  • bridges over significant waterways, local roads, and the North Coast Railway
  • interchange upgrades at Penny Road, Gympie Connection Road and Curra

The project builds on the $52 million Australian Government commitment to the $65 million Cooroy to Curra – Section D (Planning and Design) project, in partnership with the Queensland Government, to enable the planning and development of the project, including business case development, detailed design and property acquisition.

Benefits

It is expected this commitment will deliver the following benefits:

  • removal of 53 at grade intersections (including nine signalised intersection) and 106 property accesses
  • almost doubling of existing highway capacity between Woondum and Curra
  • improved flood immunity
  • increased traffic speeds
  • separate long distance from local traffic movements
  • separate opposing directions of traffic
  • reduce traffic volumes in Gympie CBD, with approximately 50% less trucks

Funding

The Australian Government will provide up to 80% of the project costs capped at contribution of $800 million, subject to Queensland providing 20% of the project costs.

Timetable

The project began construction in mid 2020 and will be completed in mid 2024, weather permitting.

Source: © Copyright, Commonwealth of Australia