Detailed Bruce Highway plans out today
A CONTINGENT of Queensland MPs, councillors, road industry leaders and engineers has identified a 10-year blueprint for fixing the problematic Bruce Highway.
More than 50 capacity and flood mitigation projects, an extension of the Sunshine Coast-based wide centrelines trial and about 175 km of road resealing are just a few of the major developments identified for delivery over the next 10 years.
The highlighted projects, which the State Government will release in a detailed plan today are a result of seven months of deliberations between Bruce Highway Crisis Action Group members and engineer investigations.
The Out of Crisis plan identifies 33 of the highway's 460 bridges and 202 culverts as needing upgrades.
Three hundred and ninety-seven guardrail end terminals also need to be replaced.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson said he also wanted to see the roll-out of wide centrelines currently on trial on the notorious Corooy-to-Curra stretch on the Sunshine Coast.
"This innovation has led to a 58% reduction in head-on crashes and I believe we can see a significant reduction in this type of crash if we deliver this safety measure," he said.
But some of the projects' delivery is dependent on the Federal Government stepping up their funding contribution to the national road, a issue of some contencion.
Deputy Premier and State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Minister Jeff Seeney said the State Government were committed to an extra $1 billion over 10 years, dependent on increased Federal funding.
"This is a federal road that has been ignored by the Federal Government, but it's time Prime Minister Julia Gillard and her Cabinet stopped short-changing Queenslanders," he said.
"The Federal Government must step up and fund at least 86 per cent of the additional projects for their road, as it has in the past."
Mr Emerson continued, if the Federal Government adhered to their usual 80-20 funding split, Queenslanders would see an extra $500-$600 million a year towards significant improvements to the Bruce Highway.
Federal Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese recently noted he was in negotiations over funding with the State Government, which he said was responsible for the management of the highway.
The Out of Crisis plan includes projects already committed over the next 10 years under base funding arrangements, plus additional projects that are needed to repair, improve and flood-proof the Bruce.
The Crisis Management Group will now be responsible for using the blueprint to lobby the Federal Government for extra funding.