Sunshine Coast highway upgrades set a sustainable example

Two Bruce Highway upgrade projects on the Sunshine Coast have been recognised for their sustainability focus.

The upgrades at the Maroochydore Road and Mons Road interchanges and from Caboolture-Bribie Island Road to Steve Irwin Way (at Exit 163) were both commended last month by the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA).

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the projects were evaluated using the ISCA rating scheme, which provided an independent assessment of the sustainability of infrastructure projects.

The process aims to optimise infrastructure projects’ economic, environmental and societal outcomes for the long term.

“The sustainability work can span impacts from climate change to management systems and community engagement,” Mr Bailey said.

“Both of these Bruce Highway upgrades being delivered by TMR’s team on the Sunshine Coast were officially awarded an excellence rating in the design category.

“It’s great to see major Queensland projects being awarded for sustainability and I congratulate the TMR team, lead contractors and their suppliers and sub-contractors for working together to earn this recognition.”

Mr Bailey said to achieve an excellence rating, projects must prove their management achievements.

“This includes how they use construction materials, control pollution, protect ecology, deliver community benefits and incorporate innovation,” Mr Bailey said.

“In a Queensland-first, the design team in the upgrade at Maroochydore Road and Mons Road interchanges used virtual reality behavioural science to determine how motorists would use the improved highway.”

Mr Bailey said the simulator tested how drivers would behave in a variety of situations.

“It allowed the team to tweak the design to make it safer, more reliable and more efficient for motorists,” he said.

“They also added more than 2.5 kilometres of pedestrian and bike-rider paths into the design to encourage active transport.”

Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon said the design for the upgrade between Caboolture-Bribie Island Road and Steve Irwin Way (at Exit 163) had a strong focus on biodiversity.

“The team had a strong focus on the environment, resulting in a 55 per cent enhancement in ecological connectivity,” Minister Scanlon said.

“This includes revegetation of disturbed areas, inclusion of dry wildlife ledges and rope ladders, and removal of barriers for both water and land-based wildlife.

“It adds to the Palaszczuk Government’s record $1.4 billion investment in the environment and jobs as part of Queensland’s plan for economic recovery.

 “We hope these award-winning examples set the bar for major Queensland projects on how to increase sustainability during construction and beyond.”

Construction of the Bruce Highway Upgrade – Maroochydore Road and Mons Road Interchanges started in June 2020 and is expected to be completed by late 2022, weather and construction conditions permitting.

For more information, visit https://www.tmr.qld.gov.au/projects/bruce-highway-maroochydore-road-and-mons-road-interchanges.

Construction of the Bruce Highway Upgrade – Caboolture-Bribie Island Road to Steve Irwin Way (Exit 163) started in November 2020. It is expected to be completed in early 2023, weather and construction conditions permitting.  

For more information, visit https://www.tmr.qld.gov.au/projects/bruce-highway-caboolture-bribie-island-road-to-steve-irwin-way-exit-163.