A MULTI-MILLION-DOLLAR cash splash on a section of the Bruce Highway by the Federal and State governments is set to bust traffic congestion in North Mackay.
The Mackay Northern Access Upgrade Project Stage 1, announced yesterday, includes the widening of the highway from four to six lanes from Ron Camm Bridge to the Mackay-Bucasia Rd intersection.
State Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert said the $80million project will ensure the Bruce Highway is ready for increased traffic once the Mackay Ring Road is completed.
"Once design works and extensive community consultation are finalised we expect Stage 1 of this major project to start in late 2018 and the entire project to be completed by mid-2020, weather permitting," she said.
The project would create at least 80 jobs, by the most conservative estimate, she said.
About 30,000 to 40,000 vehicles a day use the Bruce Highway north of the Pioneer River.
Transport Minister Mark Bailey said Stage 2 of the project would include upgrading the Davey St overpass and widening the highway to four lanes to align with the Mackay Ring Road approximately 350 metres north of Bald Hill Rd.
"Motorists who travel along this stretch of the Bruce Highway know just how heavy traffic can be," Mr Bailey said.
"Providing additional lanes and major upgrades of key intersections - including Sams Road and Mackay-Bucasia Road - will reduce peak-hour congestion."
Federal Member for Dawson George Christensen said the project would streamline an important freight transport route. He said Mackay roads carried about 15-20million tonnes of freight every year.
"This project will provide the major improvements needed to support industry in Mackay, including safer, more efficient access to Mackay's port," he said.