Bridge decking units will be lifted into place above Chinaman Creek in this month marking a key milestone in Stage 4 of the Bruce Highway – Cairns Southern Access Corridor project between Kate Street and Aumuller Street.
Federal Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch said the new inbound bridge, which was expected to be completed by mid-2020, boasted several interesting features.
“The 90 bridge decking units are manufactured with a slight upwards curve that flattens out when placed,” Mr Entsch said.
“This construction technique prevents sagging and ensures a strong, flat foundation for the road.
“As the work begins, we ask residents and commuters to slow down, keep an eye out for changed traffic conditions and follow directions of traffic controllers.
“I thank motorists for their patience and urge everyone to drive safely during construction.”
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said the works were a major step forward in the $104.1 million project which includes widening this section of the Bruce Highway from four to six lanes to reduce travel times and improve safety.
“These huge decking units are the backbone of the superstructure and connect the new inbound bridge from end to end,” Mr McCormack said.
“The units weigh up to 31 tonnes, measure 24 metres in length and are larger than a humpback whale.
“Two cranes – both weighing more than 200 tonnes – are needed to install the decks, which will be completed mostly at night to minimise disruption to motorists.
“Our nation is doing it tough through the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Delivering on the Federal Government’s $100 billion pipeline of infrastructure projects will help us bounce back after this crisis ends by ensuring we have the safe transport connections needed to keep Australia moving.”
Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said at this time, it has never been more important to keep Queenslanders in work.
“Our investment in transport and roads is supporting industry to sustain over 21,500 jobs across Queensland. We will do everything we can to make sure these jobs are maintained,” Mr Bailey said.
“This is about supporting business and jobs, stimulating our economy and making sure that when our community begins to recover that our infrastructure is ready.”
State Cairns MP Michael Healy said the community, local businesses and suppliers rely on roads to keep moving and access essential services.
“We’ve got $1.45 billion for projects like this and the Smithfield Bypass, supporting more than 1,300 jobs, and getting families, businesses and industry home sooner and safer,” Mr Healy said.
“We’re creating a solid foundation for our roads and economy that will link to the Queensland Government’s $127 million port upgrade, which will secure new opportunities for tourism and industry in the far north, once we begin to recover from COVID-19.”
The Cairns Southern Access – Stage 4 project is jointly funded, with the Australian Government committing $83.3 million and the Queensland Government $20.8 million.
It is expected to be fully complete by mid-2021, weather permitting.