[singlepic id=451 w=320 h=240 float=left]Queensland Senator Jan McLucas and Member for Mulgrave, Curtis Pitt today marked the start of construction of the Wright’s Creek Bridge upgrade, south of Edmonton.

Turning the first sod, Senator McLucas said the work will entail the widening of the existing bridge over Wrights Creek, as well as straightening the approaches to it.

“This $12 million fully Federally-funded project will go a long way to making this stretch of road safer and preventing further loss of life,” Senator McLucas said.

“Any local will tell it is a black spot. It is notorious stretch of road that we’re all very pleased to see upgraded.”

“Too many accidents have occurred and too many lives have been lost at Wright’s Creek. It has been the scene of 16 accidents in just the last five years including one as recently as February which claimed the life of an 82 year old woman.”

Mr Pitt looked forward to the works being completed in the coming months on the local bridge that more than 17,000 cars and trucks a day use.

“Once completed later this year, these improvements will not only deliver safer driving conditions but also ease localised congestion and allow bigger trucks to use this stretch of the Highway,” said Mr Pitt.

“I have been lobbying for this project over the last few years and have in particular been working with the cycling community to ensure designs would improve safety and travelling conditions across the bridge for all road users, including cyclists and pedestrians.

“Locals have clearly seen the pre-construction work that has been going on for some months now, yet Warren Entsch has continued to pull political stunts suggesting the project was one that still required funding.
“He even uses a photo of Wrights Creek Bridge on the cover of his recent flier. If you look closely enough, you can even see the flags marking out the pre-construction work in the photo. A photo of the opposite side of the road reveals the truth.

“This is the second time Mr Entsch has tried to use Wrights Creek Bridge for political mileage. What exactly does he plan to add to this project that has already been funded by Labor and is already being delivered?”

Senator McLucas said the Wright’s Creek Bridge project is just one of many upgrades now underway along the 1,700 kilometres that make-up the Bruce Highway.

“Under Labor, Federal investment in the Bruce Highway stands at $2.8 billion over 7 years, with a further instalment of almost half a billion dollars to be provided in the coming financial year. Compared to the record of the former Howard government we are spending more than twice as much in half the time.”

“We’ve seen stunt after stunt and a lot of big talk by Warren Truss, Warren Entsch and other LNP members about fixing the Bruce, but they’ve yet to commit any new money to do it.”

[singlepic id=450 w=320 h=240 float=left] “During their road trip along the Bruce in July, Mr Truss admitted he hadn’t been able to convince his Coalition partners in the Liberal Party, including Shadow Treasurer Joe Jockey, to commit even one new dollar for the Bruce.”

“We’re all still waiting for a positive, fully-costed plan for the future.”

The contract for the Wright’s Creek Bridge project has been awarded to McIlwain Civil Engineering Pty Ltd.

The work will double the width of the existing bridge to 15 metres, straighten both approaches to it and install additional turning lanes on the nearby Hill Road and Davis Road.