REVEALED: See where Rocky-Yeppoon Rd is getting $5m overhaul
WORKS are about to commence on a $5 million upgrade of the treacherous Rockhampton-Yeppoon Rd, but it isn’t the start of the long-promised duplication.
Looking to kickstart the local economy’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, the State and Federal Governments have jointly funding the road’s pavement rehabilitation for a 13km stretch between Mackays Rd to Iron Pot Road.
Keppel MP Brittany Lauga said the work was part of ongoing improvement to the busy stretch, including $20m in Queensland Government funding she advocated for and was now delivering.
“There are more than 11,000 vehicular movements along this road every day, so the State Government is investing heavily into improvements of this important arterial road which connects the two largest urban areas in Central Queensland.
“This upgrade will create local jobs as well.”
Estimated to cost a total of $200m to entirely upgrade and duplicate the stretch of Rockhampton-Yeppoon Rd, which has claimed 20 lives in past years.
Both Ms Lauga and Capricornia MP Michelle Landry have secured a total $80m from the State and Federal Governments to begin the road’s duplication ($64m from the Federal Government and $16m from the Queensland Government).
Ms Lauga hoped work would to start on the first stage by the end of this year once the community consultation process established which section was regarded as an upgrade priority.
Transport and Main Roads’ planners determined that the road duplication would take place in three stages with stage one a 5km stretch between Tanby Rd and Neils Rd, stage two about 2.3km between Neils Rd and Mulara and stage three, a 14.2km section from Mulara to Ironpot.
“I want to make sure the community has a say about where the upgrades are needed most on this important local road and community consultation is set to start shortly,” she said.
“We need to get this right. I need the community’s help to determine the best use of the money that’s on the table to make our Yeppoon-Rocky Road as safe and efficient as possible.”
Ms Landry said Rockhampton-Yeppoon Rd was one of the busiest roads in Central Queensland and these upgrades needed to happen as soon as possible.
“I travel on the Rocky-Yeppoon Road regularly and I have witnessed far too many accidents occur,” Ms Landry said.
“Last time I spoke to Transport and Main Roads, I suggested the intersection at Yeppoon and Artillery Road required urgent upgrades as there have been far too many accidents there.
“I also said we also need to fix the access roads and have four lanes as far as possible to ensure commuters arrive at their destination safely.”
Ms Landry said the $5m road overhaul was important for maintaining jobs and economic growth in Capricornia.
“Every single job that we support makes a huge difference in our local communities – now and as we navigate out of the pandemic,” she said.
“These types of infrastructure projects will be also particularly crucial for helping us bounce back after the COVID-19 crisis has ended by ensuring we have the safe transport connections needed for all Australians to keep moving.”
LNP’s Keppel candidate Adrian de Groot has objected to the delay to the start of roadworks for community consultation saying if Ms Lauga “had done her job, she’d already know what section of the Rockhampton to Yeppoon upgrade people want done first”.
“The funding of this road is well overdue and I can only hope that for the sake of local motorists the project will commence and not just be announced,” Mr de Groot said.
“We all know that this road is well overdue for an upgrade.
“The only way to ensure the work starts and the talking stops is to ensure that we have an LNP State Government to get Queensland working again.”
Last week Mr de Groot took Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington to see the Dairy Inn Road Crossing intersection at Rockhampton-Yeppoon Road first-hand.
She acknowledged the road was in “desperate need of upgrades” and “the area is notorious for accidents”.
Keppel One Nation candidate Wade Rothery has labelled the Rockhampton-Yeppoon Rd’s Cawarral intersection as the Capricorn Coast’s biggest death trap and said fixing it would be his number one priority if elected in October.
“Voters were promised a combined $80m in State and Federal funding to upgrade the Rockhampton to Yeppoon Road last year and we still haven’t seen those roadworks begin on a stretch that’s claimed 20 lives over 20 years,” Mr. Rothery said.
“Put simply, I’ll believe it when I see it.
“One Nation has already made a firm commitment to start a series of upgrades at the Cawarral turn off, where only this week another accident occurred which could have easily been prevented if Labor stopped stalling the upgrade process.”
He said we didn’t need community consultation on where to start road upgrades.
“We need Main Roads to commence on the deadliest stretch of the Yeppoon to Rockhampton Rd and every local knows that’s at the Dairy Inn Rd and Artillery Rd intersection (Cawarral turnoff),” he said.