Main Roads Minster Mark Bailey addresses community forum on Bruce Highway.  Rhyllis Aitken and Main Roads Minster Mark Bailey overview the plans.
Main Roads Minster Mark Bailey addresses community forum on Bruce Highway. Rhyllis Aitken and Main Roads Minster Mark Bailey overview the plans. Patrick Woods

The Coast's game-changing projects and where they stand

THE future of key infrastructure projects the Sunshine Coast desperately needs were discussed by Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey at a community forum in Landsborough.

The upgrade of the Bruce Highway from Pine Rivers to Caloundra Road, the duplication of the railway line between Beerburrum and Nambour, the Mooloolah River Interchange and a potential duplication of Steve Irwin Way were all mentioned.

Which key piece of infrastructure does the Coast need most?

This poll ended on 30 September 2016.

Current Results

An upgrading of the rail line and increased train services.

70%

The upgrading of the Bruce Highway.

22%

The upgrading of the Sunshine Coast airport.

7%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Mr Bailey was speaking to a group of about 60 people on Sunday to provide insight into what the State Government is considering for the Sunshine Coast.

 

Main Roads Minster Mark Bailey addresses community forum on Bruce Highway.
Main Roads Minster Mark Bailey addresses community forum on Bruce Highway. Patrick Woods

And while Friday's announcement of the $930 million upgrade on the Bruce Highway was a welcome discussion point, there wasn't much more good news for game-changing projects.

Mr Bailey made it clear all were being investigated by the department, but none had timeframes or funding models attached.

He acknowledged the section on the Bruce Highway from Pine Rivers to Caloundra Road became congested and said the Government was looking to "identify the best value" method of improving this with the Federal Government.

He said the Mooloolah River Interchange had never been fully-planned for or costed by the last government and this study was now being undertaken.

"The properties have been bought, but the previous government had not completed its planning. We are doing this," he said.

He said a "business case" was being prepared to justify the duplication of the railway line between Beerburrum and Nambour as a basis for "future funding".

He also said a study was being undertaken to investigate whether improving Steve Irwin Way would alleviate the traffic backlog when there was an accident on the Bruce Highway.

Mr Bailey highlighted other improvements the State Government was implementing for the Sunshine Coast.


WHAT'S NEW FOR THE SUNSHINE COAST:

  • The $930 million upgrade to the Bruce Highway at the Caloundra turn-off will only impact between six to eight hectares of State Forest, compared with the 24ha originally planned.
  • For the first time in Australia, the new interchange will included a "diversion diamond interchange" to improve road safety. Mr Bailey said the Caloundra Interchange had a poor track record with 53 people hospitalised in accidents and 120 crashes in the past four years. The synchronised intersection was expected to improve safety by 50% and also provide more efficient traffic flow.
  • The north and south-bound ramps near Aussie World will remain in a major win for local businesses.
  • New local service roads will be created in the section around Aussie World so residents planning to travel locally would no longer need to use the Bruce Highway.
  • Emergency vehicles will be fitted with "transponders" to automatically change traffic lights to green to speed up traffic along Nicklin Way to begin the day the new Sunshine Coast University Public Hospital opens. Mr Bailey said this was estimated to save 22% of time.
  • A $22 million upgrade to four roundabouts near the hospital is being undertaken to improve traffic.
  • A $5 million upgrade of Steve Irwin Way is under way which includes a "wide centre line treatment". This is where the solid line separating two lines of traffic is replaced with a wide centre line to keep traffic "as far as possible away from each other".
  • Traffic signals to decrease traffic at busy on-ramps to allow for improved traffic flow. This is already in place at Pine Rivers, where the speed can be reduced on the Bruce highway to 80km to make it easier for people to merge into the traffic from the on-ramp.