The 20-year masterplan includes duplication of the highway between Rockhampton and Mount Larcom.
The 20-year masterplan includes duplication of the highway between Rockhampton and Mount Larcom. Chris Ison

Anna's super Bruce plan

ANNA Bligh responded to calls to Fix the Bruce yesterday by publishing a plan to create a safe, modern, reliable and quick highway.

The 20-year masterplan unveiled exclusively to The Morning Bulletin includes duplication of the highway between Rockhampton and Mount Larcom – a 75km stretch of dual carriageway south from an upgraded and flood-immune crossing of the Yeppen flood plain.

It's news that will delight campaigners calling for modernisation of the vital transport route which was cut with such devastating effect during last summer's floods.

But although the blueprint goes into some detail about the scope of the projects to make the road safer and increase its capacity, it is vague about when those projects will happen.

The plan promises that the Yeppen Lagoon upgrade to duplicate the roundabout at the southern entrance to the city and build a new two-lane bridge over the lagoon will start in the next four years.

Rockhampton may get a bypass in five to 10 years.

But the creation of dual carriageway between Rockhampton and Gladstone is scheduled to start in the next 11 to 20 years along with a new section of dual carriageway between Boundary Road in Parkhurst and Terra Nova Drive to the north.

The Queensland government's upgrade strategy identifies its priorities for the next two decades on the road that has been called the worst in the state and one of the most dangerous in Australia.

There will be 340km of highway duplication between Cairns and Gympie and 10 new ring roads, bypasses and diversions that should significantly reduce travel times between major centres.

If the proposals are adopted there will be ring roads around Bowen, Innisfail, Townsville, Gympie, Ayr, Ingham, Mackay, Rockhampton and Childers.

Ms Bligh said: “We know people in CQ are unhappy with the Bruce Hwy.

“Our vision aims to make it safer, more efficient, more reliable and more resilient to extreme wet weather events.”



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