July 31, 2020
Tenders have been called for the $16.6 million upgrade of the notorious Wide Bay / Bruce Highway intersection at Bells Bridge – the site of yet another road crash this week.
The revised plans to improve safety at the intersection include:
- Construction of a roundabout
- Signage improvements between Meadows Lane (on the Bruce Highway) and the intersection
- Upgrades at the Spring Valley Road intersection (on the Bruce Highway, south of the intersection)
The Federal Government is contributing $13.7 million and the State Government $2.9 million towards the project.
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said the new roundabout design reflected community feedback and would create a safer environment by slowing traffic and reducing the risk of serious crashes, particularly during peak times.
He said construction would create more than 40 jobs.
Queensland Transport Minister Mark Bailey said getting tenders out now would mean construction would start by the end of the year.
He encouraged local businesses to get involved.
“We listened to the community and worked with them on a new design for this intersection,” he said.
“It’ll join a $1 billion upgrade of the Bruce Highway between Gympie and Curra, which will also start soon, and it follows the $384 million upgrade we finished in 2018 from Woondum to Traveston.”
Federal Member for Wide Bay Llew O’Brien said fixing the notorious intersection to meet the needs of current and future traffic volumes was imperative.
“Motorists are experiencing long delays turning right out of the Wide Bay Highway due to high traffic volumes on the Bruce Highway,” Mr O’Brien said.
“The Gympie bypass won’t be completed until 2024-25 so this intersection needs to be upgraded now to deliver significant safety benefits including reducing the risk and impact of T-bone crashes.
“It will also reduce delays and queuing during peak periods.”
The initial plan to fix the intersection involved implementing a “seagull configuration” intersection however during consultations in late 2017, concerns were raised about this option, particularly relating to driver inexperience.
After further investigations, the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads adopted a roundabout option better supported by the local community.
According to the TMR, the roundabout will incorporate a single circulating lane and single-lane approaches and departures.
The diameter of the roundabout will be about 50 metres and it will have approach speed limits of 60 km/h.
The tender will remain open until August 14.