UNVEILED: Minister for Road Safety Mark Bailey (R) visiting the Sunshine Coast University Hospital precinct in March as part of a $22 million investment in surrounding road infrustructure with SCHHS chief executive Kevin Hegarty.
UNVEILED: Minister for Road Safety Mark Bailey (R) visiting the Sunshine Coast University Hospital precinct in March as part of a $22 million investment in surrounding road infrustructure with SCHHS chief executive Kevin Hegarty. Che Chapman

Kawana Way works begin as State Govt splashes cash on Coast

TWENTY-two million dollars worth of upgrades to four roundabouts on Kawana Way are set to begin this month, with traffic lights to be installed on one major roundabout.

The works form part of a $164 million, four-year funding commitment to Coast road networks from the State Government.

After the Sunshine Coast University Hospital opening date shifted from November 2016 to April 2017, works will now get under way on roundabouts at Jamaica Way, Kawana Island Blvd, Premier Cct and Metier Linkway.

RELATED: High hopes for upgrades

A section of Caloundra-Mooloolaba Rd and Woodlands Blvd will also be undertaken to allow for additional lanes, in preparation of the new hospital's opening.

RELATED: Concerns over Interchange

The work is expected to deliver more than 40 jobs once it begins, with Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey visiting the site to announce the commencement of works.

"Additional traffic lanes at the roundabouts, and on Kawana Way and Caloundra-Mooloolaba Road, will tackle congestion hotspots, improve travel time reliability and ensure the local road network can cater for the new hospital opening," Mr Bailey said.

"The Kawana Island Boulevard roundabout, in particular, will be fitted with amber and red signals to manage traffic flow during morning and afternoon peak times.

"This technique is known as 'roundabout metering' and will create gaps in traffic when there is a high demand in one direction."

Member for Buderim Steve Dickson had questioned why pre-filling works for the $430 million Mooloolah River Interchange project are yet to start, given pre-filling earthworks needed about two years to settle before construction of the Interchange could begin.

The Mooloolah River Interchange has been a point of debate after the LNP had committed to its construction if re-elected in 2015 as part of its Strong Choices plan.

The Palaszczuk Government effectively scrapped plans for the project when it swept to power.

WATCH: Residents frustrated at uncertainty over Mooloolah River Interchange project

Premier Palaszczuk responded to a question on notice in Parliament in March last year, explaining the interchange would fall within the scope of assessment of Building Queensland and that she'd been advised planning for the project was nearing completion.

"I am advised that the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) is now finalising planning for the MRI project to include a new land-based road crossing of the Mooloolah River through the Hideaway Waters area and duplication of the Sunshine Motorway," she said in March, 2015.

Last month, Building Queensland released its first Infrastructure Pipeline Report, which showed preliminary evaluation had been completed, but a business case had not.

 

Bruce Highway Upgrade. / Cooroy to Curra. (L-R) Minister for Main Roads, Road Safety and Ports Mark Bailey. Photo Geoff Potter / Noosa News
ANNOUNCEMENTS: Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey. Geoff Potter

Mr Bailey said the $22 million investment from the State Government to ease pressure on Kawana Way would involve:

  • Dual roundabout approach lanes in each direction, similar to the intersection of Kawana Way and Brightwater Boulevard
  • Off-road cycle lanes beside the four roundabouts to improve safety
  • Improved lighting
  • Part-time traffic signal control and camera at Kawana Island Boulevard
  • Widening Caloundra-Mooloolaba Road and Kawana Way to allow an additional northbound lane and an additional southbound lane from just south of Woodlands Boulevard through to the approach to Currimundi Creek bridge on Kawana Way

Work on the Kawana Way roundabout upgrades is expected to be finished in early 2017.

Travel would be possible in both directions on Kawana Way while work is ongoing, although short delays are to be expected.

Mr Bailey confirmed design work was now underway for the Caloundra-Mooloolaba Rd widening south of Woodlands Blvd approach to the Currimundi Creek Bridge, with construction time frames to be determined in coming months.

The roundabout works will complement Emergency Vehicle Priority technology installed along Kawana Way and Nicklin Way which will kick in once the hospital opens.

Emergency vehicles fitted with the technology will be given the most direct route to the destination as soon as a job is logged, while also provided a green light at intersections wherever it's safe.

The confirmation of works starting came as Mr Bailey announced a $164 million funding commitment for Coast roads over the next four years.

Among the projects committed to on the Coast over the next four years:

  • $79.8 million Bruce Highway Safety Package will continue with the installation of safety barriers at various locations along the major freight route
  • $3.9 million works will commence for various intersection improvements along David Low Way
  • $4 million works will commence to widen Yandina-Coolum Road from Quanda Road to near the Sunshine Motorway roundabout
  • $2.4 million variable speed limit sign installations will continue on the Sunshine Motorway between Tanawha and Mooloolaba
  • $2.7 million traffic signal installations will continue on Steve Irwin Way at the Reed Street and Bowen Road intersections

While planning would begin on:

  • $6.3 million to continue planning for safety and capacity enhancements to the Bruce Highway between the Pine River and Caloundra Road Interchange
  • $250,000 to develop upgrade options and a staging strategy for Maroochydore Road intersections at Kunda Park
  • $200,000 to undertake planning to develop intersection upgrades for key pinch-points such as the Caloundra Road/Nicklin Way intersection