Apply now: Builders wanted for $150m Walkerston Bypass
PLANNING is under way for the $150 million Walkerston Bypass, with construction companies now being invited to submit their interest in being involved in the project.
The first 2.6 kilometres of the bypass has already been built as part of the Mackay Ring Road, which officially opened earlier this month.
The rest of the bypass is expected to support another 200 local jobs, with the tender award to occur in March next year and construction expected to start soon after.
The project should be finished by late 2023, weather and construction conditions permitting.
The bypass will remove through traffic from Walkerston and create a safer, less congested road network by providing a 10.6 kilometre link between the Bruce and Peak Downs Highway.
It will follow Stockroute Rd, before deviating south at the western end and joining the Peak Downs Highway west of Walkerston.
Key features include a new flood-immune bridge over Bakers Creek and three overpasses above the local road and cane railway network.
Capricornia MP Michelle Landry said the new Walkerston Bypass would become the designated heavy vehicle route between the Bruce Highway and Peak Downs Highway.
"Reducing the volume of freight traffic travelling through Walkerston will improve the safety and amenity of the town's road network," Ms Landry said.
The project will follow Queensland's procurement policy, ensuring local companies have an opportunity to apply and win contracts.
"Having locals doing these jobs is one of the most important things as far as I'm concerned," Ms Landry said.
"Because I don't want to see people coming here from Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne taking the jobs that should be going to locals."
Mackay MP Julieanne Gilbert said road projects were important for local jobs, with more than 1800 locals inducted onsite during construction of the Mackay Ring Road.
"Our region needs major projects like these upgrades to keep people in work as our economy recovers from the pandemic, but also to help transform our road network by making local roads safer and less congested," she said.
The Australian Government has committed $120 million and the Queensland Government $30 million toward the Walkerston bypass.
The funding is already on the table and the outcome of the state election will not affect its construction.