THE controversial $27.5 million Beaudesert bypass will begin construction in January and should be open to road users by the end of 2017.
Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey confirmed the news on Monday during a trip to Beaudesert to announce contractor SEE Civil had won the construction tender for the project.
Crews and machinery will be on the ground in January to kickstart the project, which involves the construction of a 1.5km, two-lane road starting at the intersection of Mount Lindesay Highway and Helen Street and finishing at Beaudesert-Boonah Road.
Traffic lights will be installed at each end of the bypass, which will also include a bridge and several raised sections to combat against flooding in the flood-prone area.
About 3000 vehicles are expected to use the road daily once.
Minister Bailey said the project would create about 85 jobs, slightly down on the previously suggested number of 90 jobs.
The bypass is the next step to supporting growing freight demands and jumpstarting critical development in this region.Minister Mark Bailey
“The bypass is the next step to supporting growing freight demands and jumpstarting critical development in this region,” he said.
The bypass was initially expected to be open by mid-2017, but Minister Bailey said the project was delayed by several months due to flood-prevention works that needed to be completed before construction could start.
“It’s quite a complex flood-plane this one, and because it requires quite complex hydraulics we’ve had to make sure our work is really clear before we proceed,” he said.
“That’s been the main issue for us, but better to get that right now obviously.”
He said minor works to relocate water, electricity, sewerage and telecommunications services and vegetation and fence installation were completed.
Scenic Rim Mayor Greg Christensen said the bypass offered great opportunity for the region.
“The town centre bypass will provide a more efficient, alternative route and has a long-term role as part of the local Beaudesert road network,” he said.
He said the construction of the bypass would enable council to forge ahead with its plan to revitalise Beaudesert’s town centre.
“Everyone will want to have a say about whether it’s in the right place, but ultimately it is what it is and it offers a benefit to us,” he said.
“It certainly fits with the plans to continue to prosper the area. With the growth at Bromelton, the ability to take heavy vehicles out of the centre of town fits with our mission to recreate the CBD.”
The route of the Beaudesert bypass has copped significant criticism in the past, with many critics arguing the final route will do nothing to prevent heavy traffic funneling past Beaudesert High and two retirement villages.
In April last year, Jackie Trad said the final route was non-negotiable despite any safety concerns.
Krause weighs in
Beaudesert MP Jon Krause has welcomed the imminent start of construction on the bypass, but also criticised the state government for taking its time awarding a contract.
Mr Krause said under the previous LNP government the project was funded in October 2014, more than two years ago.
“It’s emblematic of the way this government works that it’s taken over two years to actually award a contract for its construction,” he said.
“By way of comparison, SCT Logistics has put in a proposal, created designs, put it out to tender and almost completed it before this contract has even been awarded.”
“It’s good to see the tender in place but it has taken a long time to get this point, and the need for easing congestion in the Beaudesert town centre has only gotten stronger and will continue to once the SCT freight facility is in operation.”