FUNDING SECURED: Rockhampton MP Barry O'Rourke and Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey were pleased to confirm that $35 million will be spent to fix congestion on Lawrie St in Gracemere.
FUNDING SECURED: Rockhampton MP Barry O'Rourke and Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey were pleased to confirm that $35 million will be spent to fix congestion on Lawrie St in Gracemere.

Welcome fix announced for Gracemere’s congestion hotspot

THE traffic bottle neck on Lawrie Street will receive a welcome $35 million fix after being a thorn in the side of Gracemere’s commuters for decades.

Expected to generate 56 jobs, the $35 million Lawrie St upgrade was one of 14 new projects announced by the Queensland Government as part of its $400 million road stimulus package aimed at supercharging the state’s economy through the COVID-19 recovery.

Rockhampton MP Barry O’Rourke was delighted to announce the upgrade – a vital congestion-busting project he had vigorously lobbied his government for since his election in 2017.

“Fixing Lawrie St has been a priority for me and our community. It means that we’ll be able to duplicate the road, ­upgrade the bridge, overhaul existing intersections and upgrade the crossing which I am sure school parents will be pleased about,” he said.

The notorious bottle neck at Poddy McDonald bridge will be addressed with the construction of an upgraded bridge.
The notorious bottle neck at Poddy McDonald bridge will be addressed with the construction of an upgraded bridge.

“I recently took Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey to Lawrie St to show what needed to be done. I’m proud that we’ve been able to come up with a solution to the congestion.”

Originally included in the early development of the Capricorn Highway duplication project, plans to build a new bridge and duplicate busy Lawrie St were shelved due to budget constraints.

An estimated 21,000 ­vehicles that travel on Lawrie St daily are expected to benefit from the reduced travel time.

Mr O’Rourke described the announcement as a “$35 million vote of confidence in our community”, joining other local road projects to play a crucial role in supporting jobs as we come out the other end of COVID-19.

Lawrie St Gracemere looking towards Ranger St
Lawrie St Gracemere looking towards Ranger St

“It adds to more than $1 billion for roads and transport in the region like the $121 Rockhampton Northern Access Upgrade and $80 million Capricorn Highway duplication, driving business and more than 1000 jobs,” he said.

Mr O’Rourke said his government’s road package also included $200 million to widen and seal key freight routes across the state as well as upgrades to older bridges and culverts, and was a direct injection for regional jobs.

“The vast majority of this $400 million will go directly to our regions, supporting 360 jobs and helping us pave the way to recovery,” he said.

Andrew Hope, of Gracemere Hardware on Lawrie St, believes improvements should go as far as Ranger St.
Andrew Hope, of Gracemere Hardware on Lawrie St, believes improvements should go as far as Ranger St.

Rockhampton Regional Council welcomes upgrade

RRC welcomed the investment in Lawrie St.

Rockhampton region Mayor Margaret Strelow said plans to make access into Gracemere safer for residents came as a great relief.

“Thank-you to Barry O’Rourke and the State Government for hearing the concerns of our Gracemere residents and making this project a ­priority for our growing community,” Cr Strelow said.

Rockhampton MP Barry O'Rourke and Rockhampton Regional Councillors celebrating the opening of upgrades to Lawrie Street Gracemere funded by Works for Queensland
Rockhampton MP Barry O'Rourke and Rockhampton Regional Councillors celebrating the opening of upgrades to Lawrie Street Gracemere funded by Works for Queensland

“This is a long overdue project for which we have been lobbying on behalf of our residents and put on every wish list for a very long time, and with the duplication of the Capricorn Highway, there is no better time to fix Lawrie Street.”

Last year Cr Strelow said it was a logical extension to go back and “free up” Lawrie St.

“Lawrie St is a key feeder to the highway and is part of the network critical for Gracemere to grow,” Cr Strelow said

“This is the second part of the Capricorn Highway duplication. This is critical to that first duplication doing its job in allowing traffic to flow freely between Rockhampton and Gracemere.”

Council’s Infrastructure portfolio spokesman Councillor Tony Williams was elated to hear of the upgrade proceeding.

RRC Infrastructure portfolio spokesperson Tony Williams welcomed news of an upgrade to Lawrie St.
RRC Infrastructure portfolio spokesperson Tony Williams welcomed news of an upgrade to Lawrie St.

“We are incredibly pleased to hear that the plans involve duplicating the road, upgrading the bridge, intersections and crossings,” Cr Williams said.

Divisional Councillor Ellen Smith said residents would be thrilled.

“Our residents have been calling out to see Lawrie Street upgraded for years, and although it is a state controlled road, we have pushed the issue at every chance.”

Roads form part of Queensland’s COVID-19 recovery strategy

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the road funding boost was announced as part of The Queensland Economic Recovery Strategy: Unite and recover for Queensland Jobs, to help the State recover from COVID-19 with a focus on employment.

“Nothing has been off the table in our response to this crisis. We’ve spoken to businesses to create a package that will see more than 430 jobs enter the fold at a time when it’s never been more important,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

Member for Rockhampton Barry O'Rourke, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga and Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey inspecting work on the Rockhampton Northern Access road upgrade.
Member for Rockhampton Barry O'Rourke, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga and Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey inspecting work on the Rockhampton Northern Access road upgrade.

“Our laser focus is on managing the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it’s investing in infrastructure and jobs that is crucial to tackling those economic impacts head-on.”

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the construction industry played an essential role in keeping the state’s economy moving and it was vital Queensland didn’t lose momentum on its record roads and transport investment.

“Today’s announcement of accelerated funding adds to more than $23 billion rolling out across Queensland roads and transport, and I want every Queenslander to know that we continue to deliver those projects because it means support for 21,500 jobs, including 13,500 in our regions,” Mr Bailey said.

“The vast majority of this $400 million will go directly to our regions, supporting 360 jobs and helping us pave the way to recovery.

“We’ve already got hundreds of millions of dollars in projects underway right now, including millions for projects being built with councils through our TIDS program, and they’ll all be joined by much bigger ones to hit the ground running in coming months.”

Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey with Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. Picture: Jerad Williams
Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey with Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. Picture: Jerad Williams

New funding for Queensland projects:

  • $35 million Lawrie Street upgrade at Gracemere – 56 jobs
  • $37.5 million for the jointly-funded Mount Lindesay Highway upgrade from Stoney Camp Road to Chambers Flat Road – 80 jobs
  • $30 million Beaudesert Road and Illaweena Street intersection upgrade – 32 jobs
  • $18 million Six Mile Creek Bridge upgrade along Pomona-Kin Kin Road – 28 jobs
  • $15 million Centenary Motorway and Logan Motorway interchange upgrade – 15 jobs
  • $15 million in additional funding for the Cleveland-Redland Bay Road duplication – 23 jobs
  • $13 million Proserpine-Shute Harbour Road duplication and intersection upgrade between Valley Drive and Tropic Road – 20 jobs
  • $10 million Brisbane, Chermside and Glebe roads intersection upgrade – 15 jobs
  • $10 million Beaudesert-Beenleigh Road upgrade – 15 jobs
  • $9.5 million for the Beckmans Road and Cooroy-Noosa Road intersection upgrade – 18 jobs
  • $8.9 million to widen Herveys Range Developmental Road near Townsville – 14 jobs
  • $3.75 million Caloundra Road and Ridgewood Road intersection upgrade – 12 jobs
  • $3.5 million Mulgrave Road and Brown Street upgrade in Cairns – 10 jobs
  • $1.5 million Gold Coast Highway and Toolona Street pedestrian upgrade, Tugun – 4 jobs

Major projects starting later this year:

  • $1 billion Bruce Highway upgrade Cooroy to Curra Section D– 576 jobs
  • $481 million Bruce Highway upgrade from Edmonton to Gordonvale in Cairns – 466 jobs
  • $709 million Gold Coast Light Rail 3A early works – 760 jobs (for the entire project)
  • $749 million M1 and busway upgrade at Logan – 721 jobs
  • $550 million Sunshine Coast rail upgrade – 333 jobs
  • $301 million Bruce Highway upgrade at Maroochydore Road and Mons Road interchanges – 382 jobs
  • $110 million Mackay Northern Access upgrade – 154 jobs
  • $44.5 million Springfield Central park ‘n’ ride upgrade – 44 jobs

Projects already underway included:

  • $1 billion M1 Varsity Lakes to Tugun – 850 jobs (for the entire project)
  • $812 million Bruce Highway upgrade from Caloundra Road to the Sunshine Motorway – 680 jobs
  • $662 million Bruce Highway Caboolture to Steve Irwin Way early works – 664 jobs (for the entire project)
  • $514 million Haughton River Floodplain project at Giru, 40km south of Townsville – 544 jobs
  • $497 million Mackay Ring Road – 534 jobs
  • $400 million Ipswich Motorway upgrade from Rocklea to Darra – 471 jobs
  • $121 million Rockhampton Northern Access Upgrade – 260 jobs
  • $164 million Smithfield Bypass start of new intersection – 115 jobs
  • $150 million Bruce Highway interchange upgrade at Deception Bay – 270 jobs
  • $104 million Cairns Southern Access Kate to Aumuller streets bridge decks – 113 jobs
  • $75 million Capricorn Highway duplication, Gracemere – 187 jobs
  • $197.5 million M1 upgrade from Mudgeeraba to Varsity Lakes – 257 jobs
  • $80 million Sumners Road interchange – 105 jobs
  • $50 million Bruce Highway safety upgrades between Mackay and Proserpine – 95 jobs
  • $42 million Peninsula Developmental Road sealing (part of $237.5 million Cape York Regional Package Stage Two) – 115 jobs (for the entire project)
  • $18 million Three Moon Creek bridge upgrade, Burnett Highway – 60 jobs
  • $20 million Philip Street duplication, Gladstone – 60 jobs
  • $19 million Capricorn Highway overtaking lanes, Rockhampton to Emerald – 60 jobs
  • $14.5 million Bajool-Port Alma Road upgrade, south of Rockhampton – close to 60 jobs
  • $7.5 million King Street upgrade, Caboolture final stage – 17 jobs
  • $4.9 million Beaudesert-Nerang Road safety works – 32 jobs
  • $4.3 million Eumundi-Noosa Road upgrade – 21 jobs
  • $4.2 million Ormeau Park ‘n’ Ride upgrade


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