[singlepic id=444 w=320 h=240 float=left] Shadow Minister for Main Roads Curtis Pitt and Senator for Queensland Jan McLucas say major construction work is now well underway on the Cairns Bruce Highway Upgrade, a joint state-federal project which is expected to be completed by late 2013.

“Residents from the southern suburbs have really noticed the project come to life over the last couple of months,” Mr Pitt said.

“Key works being undertaken at present include bridge piling works at Ray Jones Drive and Sheehy Road interchanges and earthworks at Red Hill.”

The Department of Transport and Main Roads (DTMR) has advised that over the next three months (weather permitting) specific works to be undertaken include:

  • ongoing earthworks operations at the base of Red Hill near the cane railway line
  • completion of the bridge piling works at the half-diamond interchange at White Rock
  • start of bridge piling works on the pedestrian over-bridge at Anderson Road, Woree
  • continued relocation of essential services such as power, water and fibre optics
  • continued installation of new road drainage and extending existing culverts
  • continued construction of the new service roads on both sides of the highway
  • delivery and installation of the bridge deck units (these works will be undertaken at night due to the need to completely close the highway while the bridge deck units are lifted into place)

Senator McLucas said the majority of works for the $150 million federally funded project will be undertaken between 6am and 6pm Monday to Sunday, however some night works will be scheduled.

“To minimise disruption some works will be undertaken at night when highway traffic volumes are lower and traffic lanes can be closed to provide a clear and safe zone around the work area,” she said.

“Residents adjacent to work sites will be given advance notice of any night works required.

“I urge all motorists to slow down and follow all traffic directions during the construction phase.

“DTMR will continue to use variable message signs to provide information about detours or potential delays.”

Mr Pitt said he had spoken to people concerned that the removal of vegetation would result in the road looking like a concrete jungle.

“Cairns is known for its lush environment and the crews will be revegetating the sites around the overpasses at a rate of five new trees for each one removed.

“As well as making the overpasses blend better with the environment, more vegetation will reduce noise.”

The DTMR will provide updates on the project to the community every three months to advise about upcoming construction activities and what to expect during that time.

If residents have any questions or concerns, they can contact the CairnsConnect Team on 1800 657 724 or email cbhu@bmd.com.au  or visit www.tmr.qld.gov.au/projects.

For up to date information on traffic disruptions please phone 13 19 40 or visit www.131940.com.au.