Half of the projects in a $30 million betterment program have been completed improving flood immunity and resilience on key Queensland road links that were impacted by the 2019 North and Far North Queensland monsoon trough.
Minister for Emergency Management David Littleproud said the projects were part of the 2019 Betterment Program to build stronger and more resilient infrastructure in regional Queensland communities.
“The Betterment Program is being delivered through the $242 million exceptional circumstances package which is jointly funded by the Commonwealth and Queensland governments under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements,” Mr Littleproud said.
“Following the catastrophic flooding last year (2019), Transport and Main Roads identified 10 flood-prone sites for improvement, with five completed and most of the remaining expected to be finished before the next wet season.
“Given the severe damage to the Flinders Highway, and other transport routes, the projects are focused in the state’s north-west, along with some central-western and far north Queensland sites.
“As well as carrying out repairs following the flooding, we are improving resilience at key sites to minimise future flood damage and reduce road closures.
“Regional transport routes will play an important role in our economic recovery from COVID-19, so we are continuing to support the community by investing in restoring and improving damaged roads during this difficult time.”
Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the QLD Government had invested $10.78 million on betterment works to 31 May 2020, with further works scheduled over coming months, creating more resilient roads and jobs.
“The global economy has been hit hard by COVID-19, but Queensland’s strong health response to-date means our state can kick-start the economy quickly, and continue important roadworks that create jobs and improve our state’s disaster resilience,” Mr Bailey said.
“Priority projects to stabilise the Flinders Highway with cement and make it more durable were completed from Hughenden to Richmond and at Nelia in December last year (2019).
“Other works were recently completed on Richmond–Winton Road, which was used as a detour for heavy vehicles when flood damage temporarily closed the Flinders Highway in 2019.
“We recently completed concreting the slopes on Kennedy Developmental Road (Hughenden–Winton).
“Further works will continue on the southern section until late this year (2020) to strengthen the surface.
Queensland Minister for Regional Development and Manufacturing Glenn Butcher said works had also started on Burke Developmental Road started in late April 2020 to seal a section and strengthen the surface.
“The Burke Developmental Road works are expected to be completed in September (2020), weather permitting.
“In far north Queensland, the timber Isabella Creek Bridge will be topped with concrete to make the surface more flood resistant.
“In central western Queensland, we will stabilise the road with foam bitumen on the Landsborough Highway between Winton and Kynuna that will enhance the road’s ability to deal with future flooding events.
“We will also replace culverts with larger structures to improve capacity across the floodplain.”
The betterment works and eligible reconstruction works are jointly funded by the Commonwealth and Queensland Governments under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).
Source: Australian Government