Australia has opened the new Cattle Creek Bridge as part of a A$118.9m ($86.73m) upgrade project to enhance freight connectivity and community access to essential services.
Traffic between Townsville and Ingham has now switched to the Cattle Creek Bridge, approximately 10km south of Ingham.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael McCormack said: “Around Australia, the Federal Government is investing in our roads, especially country roads, to ensure people can get home sooner and safer, as well as providing a boost to productivity.
“Spanning the Cattle Creek floodplain area, the new 644m-long Cattle Creek Bridge is wider and higher than the old bridge, thereby improving safety for passing vehicles.”
Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey said that the Cattle and Frances Creeks Upgrade will also help address the impact of flooding.
The new Cattle Creek Bridge is set to substantially reduce closures of the highway during the wet season.
Bailey said: “To further reduce the impact of flooding, approximately 5.8km of highway is also being raised. This upgrade is expected to reduce the average annual Bruce Highway road closure time through the area from 29 to 3.5 hours.”
Efforts have now been focused on the remaining works, which include road widening, drainage and landscaping. The overall project is scheduled to be completed by the end of this year.
The Cattle and Frances Creeks Upgrade project is part of the A$10bn ($7.29bn) Bruce Highway Upgrade Program.
The ten-year programme (2013-14 to 2022-23) is aimed at improving safety, flood resilience, and capacity along the length and breadth of the Bruce Highway between Brisbane and Cairns.