Ring road project timeline slashed by six years

THE idea of the Mackay Ring Road connecting major freight routes from the Bowen Basin to the Port of Mackay has been a long-term dream for the region. But the dream, is closer to reality with Minister for Transport Mark Bailey confirming the timeline for the Port Access Road, stage two of the multimillion-dollar Ring Road project, had been brought forward by a number of years. Mackay Region transport plans outlined the 9.5 kilometre two-lane highway that would connect the Bruce Highway north intersection with Harbour Road would only become a reality in about a decades time.

WATCH: New drone footage reveals Ring Road stage one almost complete Speaking in Mackay yesterday (3/3), Mr Bailey said a combined £350 million had been allocated by the Labor state and LNP Federal governments meaning works on the road could begin in about five years time. "As we work through the design and all the planning we will then have a more specific time table," Mr Bailey said.

"It is certainly a long time before the initial 12-13 year thing because there were a whole lot of decisions that were made last year." A spokesman for the Minister said a it was the Inland Rail funding deal with the Federal Government that brought forward £51 million from the coalition and pushed the project's timeline forward. Mr Bailey said a pipeline of construction jobs in the region would continue as work on stage one of the Mackay Ring Road rolled into the Mackay Northern Access upgrade, Walkerston Bypass and eventually the Port Access Road.

"There has been a massive amount of construction and activity on Mackay's roads in the past couple of years, but it's fair to say we're really still at the start, in terms of what's coming online this year and beyond," Mr Bailey said.

Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert said the four major Mackay road projects were part of a £1.3 billion commitment from the Palaszczuk Government for roads in the Mackay Whitsunday region.

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