Three milestones have been reached on a $301 million upgrade to a busy interchange on the Bruce Highway.
Two enhanced exit ramps and a new, four-lane concrete bridge over the highway have opened to traffic, amid a revamp of the Mons and Maroochydore interchange.
Northbound traffic exiting the highway to Mons, Chevallum and Forest Glen is being directed onto the new Exit 200.
The old Exit 200 has now closed and drivers are being diverted 1.2km south to the new exit.
The new Exit 200 connects to a roundabout located at the intersection of Chevallum and Rainforest roads, which is part of a new western service road (Chevallum Road) taking shape.
Another upgraded exit has also opened for southbound traffic accessing Maroochydore Road and Nambour Connection Road from the highway.
The upgraded Exit 201 is about 200m north of the old exit ramp.
Both upgraded exits are significantly longer and wider than the old ramps to provide more queuing space for traffic.
Meanwhile, traffic travelling from Maroochydore Road to Nambour Connection Road has been diverted onto the newly built Maroochydore Road interchange bridge – this temporary diversion will allow works to occur on the existing westbound bridge.
The parapets of the new bridge abstractly depict local references, including the nearby Big Pineapple, a Bunya Nut tree, and local indigenous history.
Synchronised traffic signals have also been installed at the Maroochydore and Nambour Connection Roads roundabout to improve safety and regulate traffic flow.
The signal phasing will be carefully monitored and adjusted over the coming months to ensure optimal safety and efficiency.
The temporary traffic switch will be in place for about three months, weather and construction conditions permitting.
New two-way service roads are also taking shape on the eastern and western sides of the highway for local traffic as part of the upgrade.
The project is funded by the Australian and Queensland governments on an 80:20 basis. It’s expected to be completed in mid-2023, weather and construction conditions permitting.
Federal Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Minister, Catherine King, said it should significantly benefit commuters.
“It’s terrific to see work progressing so well on this major infrastructure project, which will make it safer and more efficient for people traffic to and from the Bruce Highway,” she said.
“Building a new bridge in a live traffic environment is no small feat, so I’m pleased to see work now complete and the bridge in use to the benefit of local motorists.”
Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the project provided “good local jobs”.
“Right here at the Mons and Maroochydore roads interchanges, the new Exit 200 and Exit 201 are significantly longer and wider making it safer when exiting the highway and reduce queuing.”
Member for Nicklin Robert Skelton was pleased to see the new elements of the upgrade and work progressing.
“What a great day to be a Sunshine Coaster when we can celebrate major infrastructure milestones like this,” he said.
“The new Exit 200 is thanks to the feedback provided by the local community when it was identified that the original northbound exit was of concern to drivers.
“Now, we’re well underway with construction and supporting about 380 good jobs right here on the Sunshine Coast.
“This is great news for contractors and suppliers in the region, and even better news for our booming local economy.”
Member for Caloundra Jason Hunt said more work was being done on roads around the region.
“(It) will keep Queensland moving and get locals home safer and sooner,” he said.
“Work is already underway on the major upgrade of the Bruce between Caboolture-Bribie Island Road and Steve Irwin Way (at Exit 163), and early works are progressing on Stage 1 of the Beerburrum to Nambour rail duplication.”
Article source: www.sunshinecoastnews.com.au