A map detailing the Yeppen Crossing upgrades.
A map detailing the Yeppen Crossing upgrades. Contributed

Yeppen Crossing upgrade designed

THE upgrade of the Yeppen Crossing is designed and out to tender, with construction expected to start within months.

The $85 million road project is expected to be delivered and open to traffic by early 2014 and includes a new 420-metre Yeppen Bridge downstream of the existing low-level structure.

Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese, Queensland Main Roads and Transport Minister Craig Wallace and Queensland Premier Anna Bligh released the information about the Yeppen Crossing upgrade exclusively to the Morning Bulletin over the weekend.

Rockhampton Regional Council mayor Brad Carter, who welcomed the announcement, said this project was stage one of a four-stage plan that would eventually include a western bypass.

"This is a significant example of a staged commitment through floodproofing the Bruce Highway," he said.

"I've been very impressed with discussion between Main Roads and council officers where there has been a significant level of dialogue.

"This announcement will certainly stimulate confidence from investors to continue to invest at an accelerated rate in this region."

Cr Carter said the five-odd kilometres between the Yeppen roundabout and Egans Hill still needed attention.

"It (the announcement) certainly complements the announcement by Premier Anna Bligh (last) week," he said.

Cr Carter said all of it, including the proposed Gracemere overpass, would open up roads and land in the region.

Mr Albanese said the project would see an upgrade to the Yeppen roundabout, a higher (new) bridge built across the lagoon, a significant upgrade to the intersection between Upper Dawson Road and Jellicoe St and changes to the Port Curtis Rd intersection.

Mr Wallace said locals would be pleased with the fact construction work on the project is expected to commence in coming months.

"The project details are not a pie-in-the-sky proposal; they are real and deliverable thanks to more than 12 months of intense work by Transport and Main Roads and engineering consultancy AECOM," he said.

"We have the designs ready to build and we are seeking tenders until February 9 from companies interested in constructing this much-anticipated project.

"All going to plan, the new bridge, roundabout and intersection upgrades will be delivered and open to traffic in early 2014."

According to the tender website, the project has been out for tender since December 16, however, to gain specific information, interested companies must contact Main Roads staff.

While the ministers and Premier released the Yeppen Crossing upgrade information, details of what is in the long-awaited Fitzroy River Floodplain Management Study were still missing.

That study will examine the possibility of a third road bridge over the Fitzroy River.

A spokesman for Mr Albanese's office said "watch this space".

"It's imminent in the coming weeks," the spokesman said.

Upgrade works

How the crossing will be upgraded:

  • New slip lane for traffic between Gracemere and Rockhampton to avoid congestion at roundabout.
  • Speed reduction curves at all roundabout approaches.
  • Roundabout expanded to two lanes between Yeppen Bridge entry and Capricorn Hwy exit.
  • A new 420m Yeppen Bridge downstream of the existing low-level structure.
  • Both lanes of existing bridge will be dedicated for northbound traffic.
  • Upper Dawson Rd and Jellicoe St intersection upgraded with traffic signals and expanded.
  • Reconfiguration of Port Curtis Rd intersection.

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