The Walkerston Bypass project is moving into gear with community consultations underway to gain feedback from local road users and affected landowners on the proposed route.
Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said once complete, the bypass would substantially reduce the number of vehicles using the existing route through the main street of Walkerston, particularly heavy vehicles travelling to and from Mackay on the Peak Downs Highway.
“This project, to be built about eight kilometres west of Mackay, is going to make a massive difference to local residents and heavy vehicle operators, by getting trucks out of the middle of town and giving them a more direct route into Mackay,” Mr Chester said.
“The new route will offer a much safer and more efficient link to Mackay—particularly to its industrial area in Paget—for heavy vehicles servicing the mining industry in the northern Bowen Basin.”
Acting Queensland Minister for Main Roads, Road Safety and Ports Steven Miles said planning and design for the project had been progressing over a number of years.
“With funding secured for construction, we can now start engaging directly with affected property owners to discuss land requirements and associated land resumption issues early. Consultation with affected property owners will start soon and the community will be getting regular project updates to ensure everyone is kept informed about this important project for the region,” Mr Miles said.
“We are committed to a fair process throughout this vitally important development, and will work in good faith with all affected landowners.”
Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry said works could start as early as 2020.
“I am extremely pleased the project is moving forward for the people of Walkerston, who for years have raised concerns about heavy vehicles passing through the town, and especially with the intersection being so close to the school,” Ms Landry said.
“Securing the funding for the Walkerston Bypass means the construction could get underway as soon as Stage 1 of the Mackay Ring Road is completed. Once started, the project is expected to deliver significant benefits to the local economy, including employment opportunities with approximately 200 new jobs expected during the construction phase.”
Member for Mirani Jim Pearce said the Walkerston Bypass was a long talked about road link that would decrease traffic and boost the economy, and he was excited to see it finally underway.
“The people of Walkerston have long suffered as a result of heavy vehicle traffic and noise, and I’m proud to be able to say we are now fixing this problem. So much of this city’s wealth comes from the coalfields and farms to the west, so it’s great to know this link will greatly decrease travel time and increase productivity,” Mr Pearce said.
The Walkerston Bypass is a jointly funded project with the Australian Government contributing $120 million and the Queensland Government $30 million. For more information visit tmr.qld.gov.au/Projects.
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