Motorists can have a preview of the next major Sunshine Coast upgrade on the Bruce Highway at Forest Glen, with animated concepts released this week showing how the upgraded highway interchanges at Maroochydore Road and Mons Road will work after a $301.25 million overhaul.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the project was part of the $12.6 billion, 15-year Bruce Highway Upgrade Program – a pipeline of investment from the Australian and Queensland Governments.
“As part of our commitment to improving the safety, reliability and performance of our national highways, the Australian Government has committed $241 million to upgrade the Maroochydore Road and Mons Road interchanges,” Mr McCormack said.
“Through this investment all Queenslanders, including Sunshine Coast motorists, can expect to see improvements in safety, efficiency and increased capacity along the Bruce Highway and at these two busy interchanges.
“John Holland Seymour Whyte Joint Venture has secured the construction contract and I look forward to seeing work on the ground beginning in coming weeks.
“This is a great example of how the Australian Government’s $100 billion nationwide infrastructure investment is setting the foundations for economic recovery on the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey said the project was one of four major jointly funded Bruce Highway upgrades collectively worth almost $2.8 billion being delivered between Caboolture and Gympie in the coming years.
“Work is nearing completion on the massive upgrade between Caloundra Road and the Sunshine Coast Motorway, but that is just an entrée to what lies ahead for the Sunshine Coast,” Mr Bailey said.
“This project at Forest Glen will be quickly followed by work starting on the $1 billion Gympie Bypass and then later this year the upgrade of the highway between Caboolture and the southern Steve Irwin Way exit to six lanes.
“These couldn’t have been better timed as we look for ways to reboot our economy.
“This project will support more than 380 jobs alone and together these projects will support hundreds of jobs and put money in the accounts of local businesses that support them on the supply chain.
“The Sunshine Coast can have confidence there is a solid pipeline of the local work committed to the area over the next few years and beyond that a safer and more efficient highway for locals and tourists.”
Federal Member for Fairfax Ted O’Brien said the project would help relieve frustrations experienced by motorists.
“The works will bust congestion at the interchanges and eliminate queuing onto the Bruce Highway,” Mr O’Brien said.
“It will provide more reliable and reduced travel times for freight transport and meet community demand for pedestrian and bike riding access and infrastructure.
“It will also enable motorists to travel between the Maroochydore Road and Mons Road interchanges at Forest Glen without having to use the Bruce Highway, separating local and regional traffic to improve safety and traffic flow on the national freight route and local roads.”
Key features of the upgrade include a new, four-lane, eastbound bridge at the Maroochydore Road interchange over the Bruce Highway converting the existing free-flowing interchange to a signalised interchange.
Works also include upgrades to the Mons Road interchange, new two-way service roads on the western and eastern sides of the Bruce Highway and active transport provisions for bike riders and pedestrians through the Maroochydore Road interchange connecting to the eastern service road.
Major construction is expected to be completed in late 2022, weather and construction conditions permitting.
The project is jointly funded, with the Australian Government committing $241 million and the Queensland Government committing $60.25 million.