Bruce Highway bridge naming honours early settler

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The bridge over Tandur Road on the Bruce Highway, south of Gympie, has been named the Thomas Powell Bridge in recognition of a pioneering settler.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said Thomas Powell was a pastoralist who made a significant contribution to the economic and agricultural development of the Wide Bay area.

"Around Australia we are investing in making roads safer so people can get home sooner and safer," Mr McCormack said.

"With Section C complete, the focus is now on delivering the Cooroy to Curra Section D upgrade, which will take the new highway through to Curra."

Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey said the name was announced after extensive community consultation.

"Pre-construction activities have started to prepare for the construction of the $1 billion Cooroy to Curra Section D upgrade, which will address the significant safety, flooding and capacity issues on the existing section. Once completed it will provide motorists with a safe, free-flowing and efficient highway," Mr Bailey said.

Federal Member for Wide Bay Llew O'Brien was on site today to officially name the bridge, which was built as part of the Cooroy to Curra – Section C project.

"I am proud to be here today to announce the new bridge's name before we move on to building the final section of the Cooroy to Curra project," Mr O'Brien said.

"Section D will remove 53 at-grade intersections, including nine sets of traffic lights, almost doubling the highway capacity between Woondum and Curra and improve flood immunity.

"This major upgrade is a major boost for the Wide Bay region with an estimated 576 jobs expected to be supported over the life of the project."

The $1 billion Bruce Highway – Cooroy to Curra Section D project is jointly funded with the Australian Government committing up to $800 million and the Queensland Government $200 million.

The Australian Government committed $307.4 million to deliver the $384.2 million Section C project in partnership with the Queensland Government.

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