Field investigations are underway on the Captain Cook Highway as planning for a $359 million program of road upgrades continues.
The news marks the latest milestone in delivering the Cairns Ring Road (Cairns CBD to Smithfield), which is jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland governments on an 80:20 basis.
The Cairns Ring Road project will plan, design and construct road upgrades between the corner of Comport and Draper Streets in Cairns CBD to the intersection of the Captain Cook and Kennedy Highways, and Mount Milman Drive in Smithfield (approximately 15.5km).
The project was announced as part of the 2019-20 federal budget with the Australian Government contributing $287.2 million and the Queensland Government $71.8 million (80:20).
Geotechnical testing will start in the coming weeks and will continue for about six weeks to assist in further planning. Early works are expected to start in June.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Transport Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce said the project would identify, plan and deliver upgrades to improve safety, reduce trip times, and better connect freight and communities along the highway.
“The field investigations will include gathering initial geotechnical data and topographical surveys along key areas of the corridor,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
“Careful planning and design are vital to ensure a successful outcome for the project, which is critical to better connect the Cairns Port and Cairns Airport with key agricultural producing areas within the Atherton Tablelands, Cape York Peninsula and Mossman.
“This milestone brings us another step closer to realising the benefits of this project, which we are getting done to provide locals, tourists and freight with a better drive along this route.
“Since 2013 the Australian Government has committed to delivering more than $14 billion in regional road improvements across Queensland, supporting more than 30,000 jobs and boosting the economy.”
Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the Palaszczuk Government was committed to delivering better road and transport infrastructure in the Far North Government.
“The Captain Cook Highway is critical for Cairns, so it’s important that we continue to progress with planning to improve safety, reduce congestion and prepare for the growth in the region,” Mr Bailey said.
“That is why we are delivering over $1.7 billion in road and transport infrastructure in the Far North region, as part of our sixth record road and transport plan.”
The project will bust congestion for the 45,000 motorists who use the road daily.
State Member for Barron River Craig Crawford said the Cairns Ring Road would build on the success of the recently completed Smithfield Bypass project.
“The Smithfield Bypass has been a gamechanger for locals and I’m proud to have delivered such an important piece of infrastructure for my community,” Mr Crawford said.
“Just this week we also announced the final option for the Cairns Western Arterial Road duplication project between Redlynch Connector Road and Captain Cook Highway.
Further information: www.tmr.qld.gov.au/projects/cairns-ring-road-cairns-cbd-to-smithfield
View the Media Release here
Source: © The State of Queensland (Department of Transport and Main Roads) 2010–2020
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