Infrastructure Australia has today announced, the Queensland Government’s Peak Downs Highway Realignment Project (Walkerston Bypass) will be added to the Infrastructure Priority List.
The Walkerston Bypass project includes a 10.4 kilometre realignment of the Peak Downs Highway, from west of Walkerston to the Mackay Ring Road at Stockroute Road.
Infrastructure Australia Chief Executive, Romilly Madew welcomed the latest addition to the independent advisory body’s list, describing the road project as a sound investment and one that recognised the Peak Downs Highway as a State Strategic road because of its importance to the Mackay and Queensland economies.
“The Peak Downs Highway, which currently runs through the township of Walkerston, is the primary freight corridor between Mackay, the Bowen Basin and Galilee Basin minerals provinces in Queensland,” said Ms Madew.
“Right now we know Walkerston is already dealing with serious safety, capacity and connectivity issues due to the sheer amount of heavy and dangerous vehicles that travel along this section of the highway and with freight numbers expected to increase, the impacts are only going to get worse,” Ms Madew said.
Following a rigorous assessment of the project’s business case, Infrastructure Australia was able to endorse the bypass as a priority investment.
“By diverting traffic away from Walkerston’s main street, the new bypass will provide increased freight capacity, more direct connectivity for large vehicles, increased flood resilience, improved freight efficiency, safety and amenity benefits for the local residents as well as create an opportunity for urban expansion,” Ms Madew said.
The bypass design will have one lane in each direction and be designed to accommodate vehicles with very large loads.
Other features of the proposed Walkerston Bypass include:
- provision of approximately 1.5 kilometres of four-lane carriageway between Homebush Road and Bergmans Road to facilitate overtaking
- four at-grade intersections, including the existing Peak Downs Highway at the western end of the bypass
- grade separation at Bergman’s Road and Walkerston-Homebush Road
- four new bridges and relocation of cane rail infrastructure, including provision of underpass.
The Infrastructure Priority List provides governments at all levels with a prioritised list of nationally-significant investment opportunities for the near, medium and longer term.