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Sun October 25 2020

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Queensland awards $480m highway and rail contract

28 Oct 19 The contract has been awarded for a combined highway and rail project in the far north of the state of Queensland in Australia.

John Holland Seymour Whyte Aecom Group (HSA Group) won the AU$481m (£255m) design and build contract for Bruce Highway – Cairns Southern Access Corridor – Stage 3: Edmonton to Gordonvale.

The shortlist was announced in January.

The project will duplicate and upgrade 10.5km of the Bruce Highway and relocate 4.7km of the North Coast rail line.

Federal minister for infrastructure, transport and regional development Michael McCormack said the project would significantly improve safety on the busy two-lane section of the Bruce Highway between Brisbane and Cairns.

“This significant infrastructure investment in the Far North region will deliver an upgrade to an essential section of the Bruce Highway,” he said. “HSA Group has an excellent track record of successfully delivering major infrastructure projects in the North Queensland region.”

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Queensland transport and main roads minister Mark Bailey said construction of the AU$481m jointly funded project was on track to start in 2020.

As part of the tender process, the potential contractors demonstrated a commitment to engaging local employees and businesses. “Tenderers were required to include information on how they would deliver the project using local personnel, resources, suppliers and subcontractors,” he said. “I’m pleased construction of this important project has been awarded to a business that will support the community of Far North Queensland.”

State member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt said an important feature of the Cairns Southern Access Corridor projects was the inclusion of an off-road cycleway for bike riders from Cairns CBD to the southern suburbs of Cairns. “This project is a fantastic development for Far North Queensland that will extend the cycleway from Edmonton to Gordonvale and ensure the region has key road infrastructure in place to support economic growth into the future,” he said. “By providing a dedicated off-road bike riding option for commuting and recreation activity, we can support Far North Queenslanders with a safer environment that encourages people to be more active and swap their car trip for a bike ride.

Works are expected to be completed in 2023, weather permitting.

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