IT'S BEEN a long time coming for the residents of Statue Bay and every other Capricorn Coast resident, but it's finally time to see work begin on the upgrade of the Scenic Hwy at Statue Bay.

Representatives from three tiers of government turned the sod yesterday to mark the next stage of the major project worth over $11 million.

Mayor Bill Ludwig said it had been a long time coming but that due to very complex engineering, time had to be taken to ensure this road would be bigger and better than before.

"I know a lot of people are going to be saying hallelujah but the effort that's gone in and the support we've had from the Federal Government and the State Government to make sure we build Statue Bay bigger, better and more resilient to withstand disaster events in the future is going to be one of the best outcomes for this part of the coast and also for transport linkages through the Capricorn Coast for many years to come," Cr Ludwig said.

"It's taken a long time because it's very complex engineering, a broad scope of works from stabilising the face, rebuilding the rock wall, widening and putting over topping structures in place to ensure cyclonic seas will not be able to erode either the sea wall or the carriage way in future events. The target for stage one completion is late February-early March with completion of the up slope works by mid year."


This work is part of a $20 million 2015 Betterment Fund which was established in response to Tropical Cyclone Marcia and is provided under Category D of the jointly-funded Commonwealth-State Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA).

Keppel MP Brittany Lauga said the road linkage had been closed off for a long time and that the residents of Statue Bay had been very patient.

"Statue Bay is a critical arterial link between the south and north of the coast, we know that thousands of vehicles used this road everyday and people have been very patient since the cyclone made this road unusable," Mrs Lauga said.

"It's been quite a while that the road has been closed but it's better late than never and we'll soon see this road working for the local people better than ever. The residents were concerned about the time it was taking to get this road up and running but I think they'll be pleased to see the works start."

The Federal Government committed just over $8 million to the project which Capricornia MP Michelle Landry said was vital for the reconstruction of the road.

"This was funded from three levels of government so it's pleasing to see this and I think the really good thing about this is as well as repairing it, council have plans to make it wider and safer as well so it will last as long as we need it," Ms Landry said.

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