DRIVERS will have access to new rest stop facilities on the Peak Downs Highway following recent upgrades to a rest area between Moranbah and Clermont.
The $1.3 million project means both heavy vehicles and other motorists can now use the rest area, located near the Wuthing Road intersection, while amenities and shaded rest areas have also been installed.
Main Roads and Road Safety Minister Mark Bailey said heavy vehicle rest areas played a vital role in the safety of all road users, and this upgrade would save lives.
"The Peak Downs Highway is a major freight route from Mackay to the Bowen Basin, and we wanted to create more opportunities for heavy vehicles to pull over and take a break," he said.
"Professional truck drivers who spend a large amount of time on the road are legally required to stop and rest under fatigue management legislation.
"This rest area will make it easier for transport operators to meet their legal requirements, and allow other motorists to stop, rest and safely reach their destinations."
Mr Bailey said the upgrade was the result of consultation between Transport and Main Roads and the community.
"My department identified that an upgrade was needed at this location through consultation with the Road Accident Action Group (RAAG) and heavy vehicle operators," he said.
"The finished rest area is a positive example of what can be achieved when government, industry bodies and community groups work together.
"We also supported an average of four jobs over the life of the project."
Member for Mirani Jim Pearce said the Peak Downs Highway was vitally important to locals, and that this upgrade would make travel safer.
"This road is essential not just to the Mackay-Whitsunday economy, but to Queensland's economy, because of the way it connects the Bowen Basin to the port," he said.
"So it makes sense for us to try and make it as safe for motorists as possible."