Bruce Hwy upgrade: $880m for six lanes to Brisbane
THE Federal Government has announced it will commit $880 million in today's Budget to Bruce Highway upgrades connecting the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane, including six lanes to Caboolture.
The $880 million cash splash will fund vital upgrades between Caloundra and Pine Rivers, as part of Treasurer Scott Morrison's third Budget.
The funding package comes in addition to the $650 million in federal contributions already committed last year when a planning study was launched to draft the highway upgrades.
But federal MPs have flagged concerns over the State Government planning study, with the first report on expanding the highway to six lanes between Caloundra and Caboolture overdue since late last year.
Fairfax MP Ted O'Brien said the project planning study was an "absolutely critical" step, and without it the Federal Government couldn't be sure enough funding had been set aside to complete the project.
Fisher MP Andrew Wallace hoped the construction on some stretches of the highway would start soon enough to run concurrent with the Sunshine Motorway to Caloundra upgrades.
"What I would like to see is... those works south of Caloundra starting as soon as the planning study identifies what needs to be done first," he said.
"We don't want to have a 10-year protracted construction phase."
He urged Mr Bailey to "expedite" the study, and said he would also call on the State Government to contribute 20 per cent of the funds required to complete the upgrades, under the usual 80-20 funding ratio for Bruce Highway projects.
He said the "very exciting" upgrade to increase Bruce Highway traffic capacity by a third would be a significant boon to commuters, businesses looking to export products, and the Sunshine Coast tourism industry.
"Two of the glaring deficiencies in our infrastructure were road and rail," Mr Wallace said.
Last week the Federal Government announced $390 million in funding for duplication of the rail line between Beerburrum and Landsborough and more upgrades to Nambour.
The Daily has contacted the office of Mr Bailey for comment.