Design contractor revealed for Rockhampton Ring Road
HUNDREDS of jobs building the $1 billion Rockhampton Ring Road are a step closer to reality after the Department of Transport and Main Roads announced the project's official designer today.
Jacobs SMEC Design Joint Venture was awarded the contract to conduct the detailed design work for the long-awaited Ring Road project.
TMR director-general Neil Scales said the Jacobs SMEC Design Joint Venture combined the capacity of both multinational engineering firms with other local design and environmental companies.
He said the contract award demonstrated the project was moving from the planning phase into the detailed design phase, which was expected to continue until the end of 2021.
Works on the Rockhampton Ring Road are proposed to take place from 2022 to 2026.
"This is a significant project with 17.4 kilometres of new road, including 6.5 kilometres of bridging, to be built through the Fitzroy River flood-plain," Mr Scales said.
"Detailed design for the Rockhampton Ring Road will be a challenge. A large part of the project footprint is in the Fitzroy River flood-plain.
"Jacobs SMEC Design Joint Venture will need to manage multiple interfaces with other highways, the local road network, private properties as well as ensuring connectivity to the city."
The joint venture has strategies to involve other Rockhampton based companies in accordance with the Queensland Procurement Policy (2019), ensuring opportunities for local employment.
Mr Scales said the milestone was key to keeping Central Queensland moving efficiently.
"This project is providing jobs and income in Central Queensland, and supporting Rockhampton's continued development as well as boosting productivity and fostering economic growth," he said.
"Significant infrastructure projects like this improve road safety and support the region's economy by improving freight efficiency, flood resilience and the capacity of the Bruce Highway.
"The Rockhampton Ring Road will also strengthen connectivity between key employment, leisure, tourism and residential growth areas of the city and the wider region."
Additional project activities were continuing in step with the detailed design phase to further progress and keep stakeholders and the community informed.
"The important task of consulting with property owners impacted by land requirements within the project's footprint is ongoing and we will continue to engage with the community throughout the development phase," he said.
"As part of this next phase, community consultation will be undertaken on the detailed design throughout 2021."
The Bruce Highway Rockhampton Ring Road is being funded on an 80:20 basis with the Australian Government contributing $800 million and the Queensland Government contributing $200 million.
Rockhampton MP Barry O'Rourke said it was great news that Jacobs SMEC Design Venture has been announced as the successful contractor for the detailed design of the Rockhampton Ring Road.
"I recently called on our local businesses to encourage them to jump on the portal and register and get on board with this project that will create some 800 jobs during construction," Mr O'Rourke said.
"This is about supporting our local people and local businesses. The Queensland Government is committed to making sure that we employ as many local people as possible so we all benefit, whether that's people working on those sites or it's people with specialised jobs that come into the region where they have to stay in our hotels, motels all those things.
"The state government has committed $200 million to this $1 billion project, which will bring greater connectivity to our region.
"The new ring road will improve road safety and connectivity during floods, and strengthen the region's economy by improving freight efficiency, job opportunities and liveability."
Capricornia MP Michelle Landry said it was shameful when the Federal Government wasn't given any prior notice on public announcements related to major milestones such as this related to the Rocky Ring Road, despite footing 80 per cent of the total cost of the project. "This announcement is blatant and barefaced electioneering," Ms Landry said.
"For the Queensland Government to hide their election propaganda behind an apolitical department is a new low.
"The timings of the announcement are highly questionable given the Queensland Government is currently in care taker, but I welcome the news of a detailed design contractor being announced for the Rockhampton Ring Road."
Ms Landry said her government's commitment to Rockhampton Ring Road was rock solid.
"We have recently unlocked $40 million to undertake geotechnical investigations, flood modelling, risk analysis and to also develop a staged delivery works package plan," she said.
"The Rockhampton Ring Road is a part of the Australian Government's $100 billion, 10-year infrastructure pipeline which will support our economy and create jobs for Queensland as it bounces back from COVID-19."
This project also forms part of the 15-year, Bruce Highway Upgrade Program, a $12.6 billion program of works to improve safety, flood resilience and capacity from Brisbane to Cairns.
The program was jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland governments, with the Australian Government contributing $10 billion and the Queensland Government contributing $2.6 billion.