A Queensland joint venture has won the first major contract on the jointly funded $1 billion Bruce Highway – Cooroy to Curra – Section D project (also known as the Gympie Bypass), on which construction is expected to start later this year.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the Bielby Holdings and BMD Constructions joint venture would deliver the first works package for the bypass, which will improve safety, freight efficiency and flood immunity along the highway and help Queensland's economic recovery following COVID-19.
"The Cooroy to Curra Section D upgrade is the fourth and final section of the 62-kilometre upgrade of the Bruce Highway between Cooroy and Curra and will include a 26-kilometre bypass of Gympie," Mr McCormack said.
"Australians are facing a tough time but projects such as this will inject much-needed jobs, economic stimulus and more importantly hope for the future.
"The Cooroy to Curra Section D is being built in two main contracts and I am pleased to announce the award of this contract to deliver the works from Woondum through to Sandy Creek Road in Veteran."
Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey said the start of the $1 billion Gympie Bypass would be a major source of employment for the Gympie area.
"This project will support almost 600 jobs when it ramps up and that means local income for local suppliers, sub-contractors and other businesses in the supply chain like accommodation providers and caterers," Mr Bailey said.
"The global economy continues to be hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis, so every job counts.
"We've still got a challenging job ahead of us in managing the health response, but we are in a great position of being able to fund and deliver major infrastructure projects like the Gympie Bypass.
"There is $2.8 billion in joint-funding locked in for upgrades on the Bruce Highway from Caboolture to Gympie, which includes the $812.95 million Caloundra Road to Sunshine Motorway and the $301.25 million upgrades to the Maroochydore Road and Mons Road interchanges underway now.
"It also includes the $662.5 million Caboolture – Bribie Island Road to Steve Irwin Way project set to start in the coming months."
Federal Member for Wide Bay Llew O'Brien said a three-stage procurement process had ensured the right contractors were selected to undertake this mammoth project.
"Now that this first contract has been awarded, we can focus on getting the job done and securing the second major construction contractor early next year," Mr O'Brien said.
"The Bielby BMD joint venture will hit the ground running and set up equipment on site over the coming weeks, with vegetation clearing and earthworks starting soon after. We will provide regular progress updates to the community throughout construction.
"The first contract includes building two new interchanges at Penny Road and Gympie Connection Road, as well as connections to the existing interchange at Woondum.
"Sections of six local roads will be realigned and 23 bridges built over these roads and local waterways, two of which will be more than 250 metres long.
"Although the two contracts will start about six months apart, the goal is to have all the works complete at the same time so we can open the new section highway in mid-2024, weather permitting."
During construction, this project is expected to support approximately 576 direct jobs.
The $1 billion C2CD project is jointly funded with the Australian Government contributing $800 million and the Queensland Government $200 million.